COSTA MESA — Defensive end Joey Bosa likely won’t play Sunday and that might not be the Chargers’ biggest defensive issue against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Bosa was ruled doubtful Friday because he’s in the concussion protocol, but that was overshadowed by cornerback Casey Hayward’s mysterious practice absence.
Hayward didn’t participate Friday because of a non-injury-related reason and was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn declined to elaborate on Hayward’s status.
“Right now, that’s a fluid situation,” Lynn said. “I can’t share any more details on it. … I can’t give you any more details on it, because I don’t know any more.”
Hayward’s backup, Brandon Facyson, also missed Friday’s practice and was listed as questionable because of illness. Lynn declined to say if Hayward’s and Facyson’s situations were coronavirus-related.
If Hayward and Facyson are inactive Sunday, Lynn named defensive back Quenton Meeks as a candidate to start at one of the outside cornerback spots.
Meeks’ lone career start came with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8 of the 2018 season against the Philadelphia Eagles. Meeks has been on the Chargers’ practice squad the past two seasons.
The Chargers will have plenty of inexperience at cornerback if Meeks is needed to start.
Tevaughn Campbell saw a career-high 51 snaps at slot cornerback last week against the Denver Broncos because Desmond King was ruled out for a non-injury-related reason. A day later, King was traded to the Tennessee Titans for a sixth-round pick.
Campbell is expected to start at slot cornerback until Chris Harris Jr. returns from his foot injury. Campbell spent four seasons in the Canadian Football League before joining the Chargers’ practice squad last season.
Michael Davis, the Chargers’ No. 2 outside cornerback, would be the team’s only experienced cornerback if Meeks and Campbell are needed.
The Chargers’ secondary uncertainty is good news for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who has an array of weapons with wide receivers Henry Ruggs III, Nelson Agholor, Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller.
Carr also likely won’t have to worry about Bosa, but he might be without his starting offensive tackles in Kolton Miller, who is nursing an ankle injury, and Trent Brown, who is on the COVID-19 reserve list.
If Bosa can’t play, then defensive end Isaac Rochell would likely start in his place, but he’s questionable with a neck injury. Rochell, however, was a full participant at Friday’s practice.
NO CAUSE FOR CONCERN WITH HERBERT
Lynn said quarterback Justin Herbert was added to the injury report Thursday because he received medical treatment on his right shoulder.
“I wouldn’t read too much into it,” Lynn said. “He’s just sore like 99 percent of these other guys right now. … We’re at the midway point, so he’s sore. He got some treatment, but he’s doing good.”
Herbert was a full participant Friday and removed from the final injury report.
“As close as he can be,” Lynn said when asked if Herbert will be at 100 percent on Sunday.
Herbert has become familiar with Pepsi Zero Sugar because it’s the sponsored name of this year’s Rookie of the Week award. Herbert won it for the fifth time on Friday for his three-touchdown pass performance against the Broncos.
Herbert’s most impressive touchdown last week was a 2-yard pass that went around a Broncos defender before finding fullback Gabe Nabers.
“It’s crazy. It’s magic,” Nabers said of Herbert’s throw. “Being his roommate and knowing what kind of guy he is, he’s very special. Just being able to make plays like that, he’ll be in this league for a very, very long time.”
BADGLEY BACK IN A GROOVE
Chargers kicker Michael Badgley shook off a string of missed kicks by making all three of his field-goal attempts against the Broncos.
Badgley said he was upset with his body language after missed field-goal attempts this season, with the most costly being the missed 50-yard attempt to potentially win the game against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5.
“The only thing that I was most angry about was my body language after a couple of those misses,” Badgley said. “I saw it in film and I said, ‘That ain’t me. That’s not how we usually do it.’”
Right guard Trai Turner might be available to play Sunday after being a limited participant at every practice this week.
Turner, who hasn’t played since Week 2 because of a groin injury, was listed as questionable.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor will be Herbert’s backup on Sunday, according to Lynn. It will be the first time Taylor is active for a game since Week 2 when he reportedly had his lung punctured from a mishandled pain-killing injection to his ribs.
Running back Troymaine Pope was ruled doubtful because he’s in the concussion protocol and didn’t practice this week.