How worried should we be about another Derwin James injury?

Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

Safety Derwin James looks to be hurt again for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Derwin James limped off the practice field Sunday with what looks to be a hamstring injury.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “Chargers’ S Derwin James walked off today’s practice field and into the medical tent after straining his hamstring, per source. Too early to tell if injury is significant.”

The Los Angeles Chargers have a loaded defensive backfield, but any time lost by the most talented member of its secondary could be troubling for the Bolts. Should we be concerned?

The Los Angeles Chargers may have to tread water without Derwin James.

A big reason the Bolts could make a charge up the AFC West standings is the sheer amount of  talent they have on the defense. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has a treasure trove of riches, but James is the crown jewel of his secondary. While the Chargers get a ton of love with defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, James is the straw that stirs the drink for this defense.

James’ inherent versatility is why he was an unbelievable talent coming out of Florida State University in 2018. The only reason he fell to general manager Tom Telesco and the Chargers at No. 17 was injury concerns. James missed his nearly all of his true sophomore year in Tallahassee due to a meniscus tear. He turned pro after his redshirt sophomore year with the Seminoles.

As a rookie in 2018, James earned All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl nod. His versatility in the defensive backfield is why the Chargers qualified for the postseason and shut down Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Wild Card round. However, he only played in five games in 2019 due a stress fracture suffered in his right foot over the summer.

Though a hamstring issue isn’t a broken bone or ruptured sinew, it is yet another lower body injury for the talented defensive back. While the Chargers have three excellent corners to lean on as well in the secondary in Chris Harris Jr., Casey Hayward and Desmond King, the Bolts’ defense can only be so good without is most versatile playmaker like James flourishing at safety.

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What does favor the Chargers is Telesco is a great general manager who has drafted well. Bradley is one of the better defensive coordinators in the NFL and head coach Anthony Lynn will implement a ball-control offense with either Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert running it this fall. In short, the Chargers can still be good even if James misses time, but being great? Now that’s a different story.

Hopefully James only misses a little bit of time and can stay a factor on this Chargers team here soon.