According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, James was injured during Thursday's practice and was spotted today in a walking boot.
The first-team All-Pro safety will opt to undergo surgery to fix a fractured bone in his foot, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, and he will miss approximately three-quarters of the regular season. The injury is on the bone on the outside of his foot, connecting to the bone of the pinky toe.
The 23-year-old earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors and was the first rookie in franchise history to eclipse 100 tackles. The Florida State alum played in all 16 games in his rookie season and led the Bolts in tackles (105) while garnering 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and 15 pass breakups. Versatile safety Adrian Phillips likely will get the lion's share of the reps at strong safety.
Other players who can fill in at the safety position include slot defender Desmond King, who also earned All-Pro honors last season as a defensive back and a returner, and Rayshawn Jenkins, now pegged as the team's starting free safety. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley also lined him up at slot corner, in the box and as a rush end. The coach did not rule out surgery or a trip to the IR, saying "we're going to miss him a lot". "We lost Joey previous year and were fine until he came back", Lynn said.
The Chargers already are playing without running back Melvin Gordon, who is holding out of camp in a contract dispute. "It doesn't matter how much effort you put into resting and saving guys, it's football".
Former NFL RB Cedric Benson Killed In Motorcycle Accident
Benson, the Bears' fourth overall pick in 2005, died in what was reportedly a motorcycle accident in Austin, Texas. The first official word of the accident came from Benson's brother, Dominic, who posted the following on Facebook.