Chargers DE Bosa hopeful he can return by early November
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Joey Bosa remains sidelined with a foot injury but the Los Angeles Chargers defensive end is hopeful he can return in early November.
Bosa addressed his injury for the first time Wednesday as the Chargers (1-2) began preparations for Sunday's matchup against San Francisco (1-2).
"There is a little instability in the tendon, but there's a good chance I won't have surgery," Bosa said. "I'm trying to be as safe as possible. If I try to rush back now it wouldn't be good."
Bosa has a bone bruise to his left foot. He first injured it during training camp on Aug. 7 and didn't play in any of the four preseason games. Bosa acknowledged he should have been cautious for another week or two instead of trying to rush back for the regular-season opener against Kansas City. He reinjured the foot on Sept. 5 and has been sidelined since then.
After Bosa re-aggravated the injury, he visited Dr. Robert Anderson, who is a foot specialist based in Green Bay. Bosa's foot was put in a cast for two weeks and he had it taken off earlier this week.
Now that he is back in a walking boot, Bosa is hoping to resume running in a couple weeks. His latest goal — provided there are no setbacks — is to return for the final nine games of the season. That would be Nov. 4 at Seattle and follows the Chargers' bye week.
"I could have prevented this if I wasn't so set on pushing to be back (for the regular season). It has been a huge learning experience," Bosa said. "It's a tough injury to deal with but when the time comes I will be 100 percent ready."
Bosa, who has 23 sacks in his first two NFL seasons, isn't the only player in his family who is dealing with an injury. Younger brother Nick, who is a junior All-American defensive end at Ohio State, is likely out until November due to a lower abdominal muscle injury.
The two talk every day and the older Bosa joked that his brother "is enjoying all the best food he's ever eaten" while rehabbing in Philadelphia.
"I asked him how he felt and he said he's 'ready to take down a small village' so he must be feeling real good," he said. "It (stinks) for my dad and the family right now but we're both looking ahead."
Bosa's absence has definitely had an impact as two of the Chargers' starters on the defensive line are out. Defensive tackle Corey Liuget is eligible to return Monday when his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances ends.
Without Bosa and Liuget, the Chargers are ranked in the middle of the league in sacks with seven. They are tied for 22nd in the league in quarterback pressures after being tied for 10th last season. They are also blitzing on only 22.1 percent of pass plays, which is below the league average of 25 percent.
It also means that defensive end Melvin Ingram has seen more double teams and been held to 1.5 sacks.
"We need more pressure. We're going to be one-on-one on the backside since they are sliding protection toward Mel and we have to win. Somebody has to win," coach Anthony Lynn said.
San Francisco, which will have C.J. Beathard starting at quarterback following a season-ending knee injury to Jimmy Garoppolo, has allowed 14 sacks, which is tied for fourth-most in the league.
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said the Chargers' scheme reminds him a lot of San Francisco's.
"I'm sure there'll be some new things that they're going to game plan against us that you've got to be prepared for," Shanahan said. "Obviously, having gone against a defense like that helps, but you can never count on it, what they're doing. There's always something different."
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL