The San Diego Chargers may be 2-1 to start the season, but it’s certainly come at quite a cost. Having already lost C Nick Hardwick for the season and RB Ryan Mathews and LB Melvin Ingram indefinitely, the Chargers were dealt another big blow in Sunday’s win over the Bills.
Running back Danny Woodhead left the game early with an apparent ankle injury, never to return. On Monday, FOX reported that Woodhead suffered both a severe high-ankle sprain and a fractured fibula that will require surgery, likely ending his season.
Woodhead had recently signed a contract extension with San Diego following an extremely productive first season in Southern California. He’d gotten off to a relatively slow start this season, carrying the ball 15 times for just 38 yards and catching 5 passes for another 34 yards, but he was expected to take a larger role with Mathews on the shelf.
San Diego signed ex-Colts first-rounder Donald Brown during the offseason as insurance in case of injury issues, and now that looks rather prescient. Brown carried a huge load in Buffalo Sunday carrying it 31 times for 62 yards and catching 5 balls for 27. He’ll surely shoulder the load moving forward until Mathews returns, and rookie Branden Oliver also figures to get some opportunities. Oliver turned some heads with his performance during the preseason, and the diminutive 5’6″ back seems a natural fit to replace fellow tiny man Woodhead.
The Chargers will also likely look to add another back via free agency, though we’ll have to wait and see on that front.