MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 24: Mike Williams #81 of the Los Angeles Chargers is carted off the field during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Chargers Lose Star Playmaker to Season-Ending Injury

The Los Angeles Chargers have had brutal luck with injuries over the last few seasons, as has one of their key playmakers in wide receiver Mike Williams, who will miss the remainder of the 2023 season.

During the team's Week 3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Williams went down and appeared to be in serious pain before eventually being carted into the locker room. The team's initial fears were confirmed following an MRI on Monday, September 25, with ESPN's Adam Schefter revealing that Williams suffered a torn ACL the day before.

Williams was off to a red-hot start against the Vikings before going down. The 28-year-old wideout had caught seven of his eight targets for 121 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown off a trick play and pass from fellow receiver Keenan Allen.

The former Clemson standout receiver has a long injury history that has included high-ankle sprains, back issues, and even a sprained AC joint. However, the talented receiver has fought through all of those injuries to play in double-digit games in every season of his career, dating back to his 2017 rookie campaign. Unfortunately, that streak will come to an end in 2023 for Williams.

For the Chargers, other playmakers will now need to step up and get open for star quarterback Justin Herbert. Keenan Allen is already firing on all cylinders after catching 18 passes for over 200 yards in Week 3, but other receivers like Joshua Palmer and first-round rookie Quentin Johnston will need to take on even larger roles going forward this season.

Losing Williams is a big loss to a 1-2 Chargers team struggling to fight in a competitive AFC West. However, if someone like Johnston is able to step up and handle a larger role as a rookie, then the offense may be able to keep itself going and help the Chargers fight their way back into the AFC playoff race as the 2023 season progresses.

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