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Battered, Injured Chargers Preparing For Chicago Bears

By Dave Thomas

Take a look at the current roster of the San Diego Chargers and it may read more like a hospital report.

From battered offensive linemen to defenders battling injuries, oh, and the team's top wide receiver gone for the season, the 2-6 Chargers are doing their impersonation of the walking wounded heading into next Monday's evening's home game with the Chicago Bears.

For a team already beset with injury issues before it went to Baltimore last weekend (Ravens won 29-26), the news got even worse back in Southern California.

Allen Done For Season With Lacerated Kidney

Keenan Allen, the third-year wide receiver out of Cal, off to a torrid first half of the season this year, has a lacerated kidney and will miss the remaining eight games. Given Allen was the top target of veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, the latter will now have to look elsewhere for a top receiving threat.

Allen came into last Sunday's game with 62 catches and nearly 700 yards of offense. With the season-ending injury, Allen finishes with 67 receptions, 725 yards and four TDs. San Diego's top receiving threat injured the kidney after coming down hard on his back with a touchdown reception late in the first half, a reception that would ultimately prove costly.

According to the Chargers, Allen is not the only Bolt who was added to the reserve-injured list.

San Diego also reported that running back Branden Oliver (led the team in rushing a season ago) was added to the list with a toe injury, while outside linebacker Tourek Williams was also ending his 2015 season with a foot injury.

For the Chargers, losing Oliver is especially costly, this given that San Diego's running attack is not even average at best. The Chargers, who currently rank number one in the league in overall total offense (423.2 yards per game) are a dreadful 29th out of 32 teams running the ball. With first-round rookie pick Melvin Gordon (103 carries, 382 yards, O TD's) and Danny Woodhead (52 carries, 197 yards, 2 TD's) left to carry the team on the ground the remainder of the season, the options become that more limited.

November Schedule In Chargers Favor

With the Chargers all but on life support as far as the AFC playoffs go, the schedule for November actually sets up in the team's favor.

Despite losing to Baltimore (1-6 at the time), the Bolts still have opportunities this month to pick up wins, starting this coming Monday evening when the 2-5 Chicago Bears pay a visit to America's Finest City.

After a bye week (Nov. 15), San Diego will host AFC West rival Kansas City (3-5) on Nov. 22, then visit 2-5 Jacksonville Thanksgiving weekend.

While December shapes up as a much tougher month (two meetings with unbeaten Denver, visits to Kansas City and Oakland, home date with up-and-down Miami), the Chargers are still mathematically alive in the AFC playoff race, though be it barely.

With Keenan Allen and Branden Oliver now out of the mix, expect Philip Rivers and Co. to have to dial things up another notch or two if the Bolts want any hopes of playing ball past the Jan. 3 regular season finale in Denver.

Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on


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