COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers could get both of their starting safeties back for Sunday’s game at Denver.
Derwin James practiced for the first time since training camp on Monday and has been officially designated for return from injured reserve. James suffered a stress fracture to his right foot during joint practices with the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 15.
While coach Anthony Lynn was measured in his assessment of James, he was optimistic about Adrian Phillips being ready to play this week.
Phillips was given the designation to return on Nov. 15 and practiced leading up to the Nov. 18 game against Kansas City at Mexico City. Phillips broke his right forearm during the fourth quarter of a 13-10 loss at Detroit on Sept. 15.
“I thought Derwin looked pretty good, but he hasn’t played football in a long time. We’re going to take it slow,” Lynn said following practice. AP (Phillips) came back last game, but he wasn’t able to play because we didn’t think that he was ready to go. We’ll look at DJ the same way.”
Lynn said both players will need to show change of direction and quickness bursts. He added that Phillips is also practicing on special teams along with calling out fronts on certain packages on defense. Despite not having James and Phillips for most of the year, the Chargers are fifth in the league in defense and fourth against the pass.
The Chargers (4-7) are coming off their bye and looking to snap a two-game losing streak. Lynn said the bye week came at the right time to get back some players for the final five games.
Even though the players had the week off, Lynn and his staff did plenty of self-scouting. All seven of Los Angeles’ losses have been by seven points or fewer.
“Losing by one score and not figuring out a way to win some of those games is a little disappointing to me. I do believe it’s going to turn,” he said.