Los Angeles Chargers' All-Pro Safety Misses Practice

The Los Angeles Chargers may be without their superstar defensive back for their crucial Week 15 matchup with the Tennessee Titans. Safety Derwin James missed practice on Thursday with a quadriceps injury, casting doubt over his availability for Sunday's showdown.

James missed the Chargers' Week 14 23-17 Sunday Night Football win over the Miami Dolphins with the quad injury. He ranks second in total tackles on the Chargers this year with 106 and was November's AFC Defensive Player of the Month.

Every game matters for the 7-6 Chargers, so an absence from James against the 7-6 Titans could spell disaster. They have basically no chance of catching the 10-3 Chiefs for the AFC West crown, so the Chargers will have to fight through a crowded field for a Wildcard berth. They're currently in a three-way tie for the last spot in the playoffs, but present tiebreakers aren't doing them any favors. If the regular season ended today, they'd be sitting out the postseason.

James joined the Chargers as their 17th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He immediately debuted as a versatile and hard-hitting jack of all trades at safety, earning first-team All-Pro honors as a rookie thanks to his 13 pass breakups, 3.5 sacks, and three interceptions. After missing 27 games from 2019 to 2020, he appears to have turned a corner with his health: he's missed only three games since 2021. Sunday could be his fourth.

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