San Diego Chargers wide receiver Charlie Jones will likely be sidelined at least eight weeks after dislocating his left hip in Thursday's exhibition loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The initial prognosis during the game called for Jones to miss six weeks, but a small fracture in the hip joint was discovered in an MRI on Friday, adding another two weeks to the recovery time, according to trainer James Collins.
Jones may need to have a screw placed in the joint to stabilize it, depending on the outcome of more testing, Collins said.
The injury occurred in the second quarter of the 31-24 loss. Jones, who was returning a punt, had one knee on the ground when he was hit from behind.
"It takes a major force to get that joint out of the socket," said Collins, calling it a freak injury. "That's the strongest joint in the body."
Jones, who had a team-high 699 yards on 46 catches last season, was making his only scheduled punt return of the game.
"This is very disappointing as far as helping Charlie come alive in the offense," Chargers coach Mike Riley said.
"He missed some time in (offseason) mini-camp due to injury," Riley said. "We have an idea what (others) can do. But we're finding that out about Charlie. We know he's a playmaker who has a lot of ability. It sets up back in that process."
Riley noted that Jones still fits in San Diego's plans as a punt returner, despite his injury. It's a role that the fourth-year pro has hoped to add this season.
"Our plan for him is that he can make that big play for us as a returner, but we still will not use him as a full-time returner," Riley said. "If it's a good return situation, we'll stick him in there."
The Chargers, who returned from Australia on Sunday following a loss to Denver in their exhibition opener, endured a series of injuries against the 49ers but only Jones is expected to miss an extended number of games.
Also injured were running back Natrone Means (right shoulder contusion), defensive tackle Jamal Williams (strained right hamstring), linebacker Lew Bush (right hip contusion), cornerback Terrance Shaw (sprained left wrist), linebacker Tracy Simien (strained right pectoral muscle) and quarterback Jim Harbaugh (bruised thigh).
"The next couple of days should help us out quite a bit," Collins said of the team not having any practices. "We've been going at it pretty good for the last two weeks. Hopefully, by the first part of next week, we should have most of those guys back out there."
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