Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James, who missed 11 games in the 2019 season, is likely to miss significant time with a meniscus injury he suffered during Sunday's practice, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
The Chargers provided an update regarding James' condition on Monday, confirming that he "suffered a right knee injury during yesterday's practice" and noting that "he will continue to be evaluated, and a timeframe for his return has not yet been determined."
Now comes the waiting game of just how long it will be until James can return to the field.
With the waiting game comes options, pending further evaluation, though each of them would see James with an elongated absence. One possibility is a meniscus trim, which could be four or so weeks, or a full repair, which would bring upon several months on the shelf, Rapoport reported.
Multiple reports coming out of camp were that James left practice grabbing his right leg, clearly frustrated, and entered the medical tent.
Regardless of just how long James is shelved, it's a difficult turn of events for a burgeoning star who burst upon the NFL scene and has seen it halted by significant injuries in consecutive offseasons.
James began the 2019 campaign on injured reserve with a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his foot. He returned in Week 13 and started the last five games of the season, tallying 34 tackles.
In 2018, James was an All-Pro and Pro Bowler in a sensational rookie campaign in which he filled up the stat sheet to the tune of 105 tackles, 13 passes defended, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions.
While it's another discouraging turn of events for James and a huge blow to the Chargers defense, it might well open the door for another opportunity to Earl Thomas, as pointed out by Rapoport. Current Bolts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley previously coached Thomas with the Seahawks. Within the roster, the most likely scenario is that Desmond King, Alohi Gilman and Nasir Adderly are the likely candidates to step into James' starting role.
Nonetheless, for James and the Chargers on a sunny Southern California Sunday, it quickly became a cloudy day ahead of a promising season once again.