Chargers' Derwin James Reportedly Needs Surgery on Knee Injury, Out 6-8 Months

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James carries the ball during an NFL football camp practice, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Costa Mesa, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Chargers will reportedly be without one of their best overall players during the 2020 season.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, safety Derwin James will miss six to eight months with a knee injury that will require surgery. This update comes after Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported James suffered a meniscus injury during Sunday's practice and was expected to miss "significant time."

This is yet another setback for the Florida State product who missed all but five games last year with a foot injury.

He thrived as a rookie in 2018 as a Pro Bowler and First Team All-Pro selection with 105 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and 13 passes defended. It was a brilliant performance, and the fact that it came as a rookie suggested more excellence to come.

However, he has been unable to remain healthy since, and this is a significant blow for a Chargers team looking to compete in the AFC West after finishing 5-11 last season.

James is the type of versatile safety who can make plays in the box against the run, rush the quarterback around the edge and stick with tight ends and wide receivers over the middle as a pass-defender.

It will be difficult to replicate that type of impact for the Chargers and will likely require combined efforts from multiple players.

Look for the combination of Nasir Adderley, Alohi Gilman and Desmond King to compete for more playing time at safety now that James is sidelined.