On just the second day of organized team activities, the Chargers defense was dealt a significant blow.
Last year's first-round pick OLB Melvin Ingram tore his left ACL on Tuesday, the team confirmed this afternoon. The injury will likely end his season before it even got started.
As a rookie, Ingram recorded just one sack and one forced fumble despite playing in all 16 games. But according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Ingram had a team-high 29 quarterback hurries, which had Chargers management optimistic of a significant uptick in his production.
Just yesterday, Chargers head coach Mike McCoy lauded Ingram's rookie campaign.
“We talk about it all the time as a staff: The best coverage is a good pass rush,” McCoy said. “When you have someone like that coming off the edge, his ability to get to the passer, that's key for our system and our success.”
Ingram's torn ACL leaves the Chargers depleted at outside linebacker. They still have veterans Jarret Johnson (27 total tackles, 1.5 sacks last season) and Larry English (13 tackles), but Ingram's injury could make San Diego susceptible to a strong rushing attack.
The Chargers also lost defensive veterans Shaun Phillips (9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles) and Antwan Barnes to free agency this offseason.
The Chargers spent their sixth-round pick on DE Tourek Williams out of Florida International, and he could be thrust into a more prominent role due to lack of depth.
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