Chargers rookie Joey Bosa misses practice with apparent injury

ByEric Williams ESPN logo
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- Chargers rookie Joey Bosa missed his first opportunity to participate in a fully padded practice due to an apparent leg injury, putting in doubt the possibility of the Ohio State product playing in the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Signed a week ago, the rookie defensive end participated in San Diego's practice in helmets and shorts on Tuesday, but has not practiced or played with the team since. The Chargers did not practice on Wednesday, and Bosa participated in a light workout with veteran players before the team's final preseason game against the San Francisco 49erson Thursday.

Bosa did not play in the game. The Chargers received a roster exemption from the NFL for the rookie defensive end as he works himself into football shape. The Chargers will not have to list Bosa's injury once teams are required to release an injury report Wednesday.

However, Bosa was seen walking off of the practice field Monday with his left leg wrapped.

"He was a little tight, so we held him out today," Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. "And so we'll just go one day at a time moving forward from here. And when he's ready to participate, and he's in game shape and willing and able to play, he'll be out there playing in games."

Since there won't be a padded practice each week of the regular season -- in fact, only 13 in all -- getting Bosa in football shape will be a tough task for the Chargers.

McCoy said Monday's practice was like a typical Wednesday practice during the regular season for his team, but he also left open the possibility that the Chargers might have a fully padded practice on Wednesday after taking Tuesday off.

McCoy maintained the team would take a cautious approach in getting Bosa on the field. And now that there are lingering injury concerns, McCoy said he plans to stick with that approach after practice on Monday.

Bosa signed a four-year, $26 million deal last week that included $17 million in guaranteed signing bonus money, after missing 31 days due to an acrimonious contract negotiation over offset language and the earlier payment of deferred signing bonus money.

Bosa said he was in the best shape of his life when he reported to camp last week.

"The mental part you can get away from here," McCoy said. "You can study and do things, and when you're in here you can watch as much film as you want.

"But you can't ever put enough pads on and go out there. That's what training camp is for, and he missed all of that. Like we said -- and we're going to keep on saying this time and time again -- it's one day at a time with him. And when he's ready to go out there and put the pads on, he'll be out there with us."