The Los Angeles Chargers boast one of the NFL's most talented secondaries entering the 2020 season, but arguably the top piece of that unit is set to be sidelined for the foreseeable future. Pro Bowl safety Derwin James will require knee surgery and is set to be out six-to-eight months, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. This all comes after James left the team's Sunday training camp practice early due to the injury. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported later that the 24-year-old sustained a meniscus injury and now we're getting a clearer view timetable that is now set to keep James out for the entirety of the 2020 season.
The veteran originally came up limping after a play during L.A.'s scrimmage Sunday, according to Sports Illustrated's Fernando Ramirez, and threw one of his gloves in frustration while walking to the team's medical tent. He then stayed in the tent for the remainder of the practice.
James is already no stranger to scary offseason injuries. After a dominant 2018 rookie campaign in which he totaled 105 tackles and three interceptions as a leader of L.A.'s defense, the former first-round draft pick suffered a stress fracture in his foot prior to the 2019 campaign. Surgery sent James to injured reserve prior to the season, and he remained there until late November, appearing in just five games.
The Chargers figure to turn to No. 3 safety Rayshawn Jenkins for additional work in James' absence, though big-name free agent Earl Thomas has also been speculated as a potential team target. That said, head coach Anthony Lynn was pretty definitive earlier on Monday saying that the Chargers weren't interested in Thomas. It remains to be seen if that change, however, given the news of how significant James' injury is. Second-year man Nasir Adderley is also set to start at the other safety spot for Los Angeles.