Sunday's home game for the Los Angeles Chargers against the Jacksonville Jaguars went just about as poorly as possible. Not only were the Bolts pounded 38-10, but they also lost 2021 second-team All-Pro left tackle Rashawn Slater, the man who protects Justin Herbert's blind side, to a season-ending torn left biceps tendon. The SportsLine Projection Model has downgraded LA because of it.
Slater, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, went down in the third quarter and was replaced by journeyman Storm Norton, a former undrafted free agent out of Toledo who also played a season in the XFL. Norton allowed eight pressures -- the most surrendered by any member of the Chargers on Sunday. Slater finished the 2021 season with an impressive Pro Football Focus offensive grade of 83.6. He allowed just three sacks, which was tied for third-fewest in the league among offensive tackles seeing at least 730 snaps. His grade this year was 84.
Herbert is already banged up, as he played through fractured rib cartilage against Jacksonville, and that will linger for a while. He didn't look his usual excellent self in completing just 55.6% of his passes on Sunday. Coach Brandon Staley was ripped by the press afterward because he let Herbert return to the field with less than five minutes remaining and the game already a blowout.
"He wanted to be out there with his teammates," Staley said. "He felt good and he wanted to finish the game."
The Chargers also were without Pro Bowl center Corey Lindsley, as he's dealing with a knee issue. The Los Angeles offensive line allowed six quarterback hits and a sack. Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Pro Bowl pass rusher Joey Bosa also left the game in the first quarter after suffering a groin injury, and receiver Jalen Guyton was sidelined late in the fourth quarter because of a knee injury.
The SportsLine Projection Model initially forecast the Chargers for 9.2 wins, but that's down to 7.6 without Slater. DraftKings has Los Angeles at 9.5 wins with the Under a -120 favorite.
|1-2 w/ Slater||7.9||46.50%||9.90%||26.70%||1.70%||0.70%|
|1-2 w/o Slater||7.6||44.70%||6.80%||22.10%||0.90%||0.30%|
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