Monday was a bit of a mixed bag for the San Diego Chargers. The day started with bad news for rookie defensive tackle, Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe. The big man from Boise State tore his ACL and will miss all of 2014. Unfortunately for San Diego, Tjong-A-Tjoe was having a solid preseason culminating with a slew of second-team reps during yesterday’s game. With Sean Lissmore missing time, and Kwame Geathers going down in the first quarter, the rookie was playing a bigger role on the defense. His year is over before it even begins.
However, the Bolts were handed some good news on Geathers. The second-year defensive tackle hyperextended his knee (thankfully he didn’t tear anything) during yesterday’s game. While no initial prognosis has been given, this injury usually takes 2-4 weeks to heal. This is great news with respect of what the MRI could have shown, but the Chargers may have an issue in the early part of the regular season.
Knowing the type of player Sean Lissemore is, you have to assume he is on the field week 1 whether he is 100 percent or not. If he is not completely healthy, the Chargers will have to turn to rookie Ryan Carrethers to fill Geathers void. Carrethers has flashed, but by no means is ready to take on the majority snaps at the zero-technique. Remember, zero-tech (nose tackle in the 3-4) is one of the hardest positions to learn and play in the NFL. The Chargers were blessed to have one of the best to ever do it in Jamal Williams, but there is a reason they are still looking for his replacement five years after he left San Diego.
Hopefully, Geathers can return sooner rather than later. With Arizona and Seattle on the Chargers’ schedule in the first two weeks, the defense is going to need all the help it can get.
Our thoughts go out to Tjong-A-Tjoe and we wish a speedy recovery for all three players (Lissemore, Geathers, and Tjong-A-Tjoe).