Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver Keenan Allen Out for Week 16

The hits just keep coming for the Los Angeles Chargers. In its final injury report of the week, the team officially declared five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen out for Saturday's matchup with the Buffalo Bills due to a heel injury.

The Chargers will also be without arguably their two other biggest stars: defensive end Joey Bosa, who has yet to return from a foot injury suffered in November, and quarterback Justin Herbert, who broke the index finger on his right hand in a 24-7 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 14 and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Saturday will also mark the Chargers' first game since firing head coach Brandon Staley after a 63-21 humiliation at the hands of the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football.

Allen's unavailability could be the dagger in what has been a disappointing season for the Chargers. He's been the Chargers' best player this season, leading the team in yards from scrimmage (1249), receptions (108), and total touchdowns (7). Prior to this injury, he was on pace for career bests in all three categories.

Unfortunately for Allen, the Chargers don't have much left to play for. At 5-9, they've yet to be technically eliminated from the playoffs, but a loss to the surging Bills would just about seal their fate. If the Chargers deem their final games of the season meaningless, they may elect to shut down Allen, even if it costs him some career milestones.

The Chargers and Allen are better off focusing on 2024. They'll have a new head coach in place by then, and Herbert will be back and healthy. Perhaps most importantly, Allen will be entering the final year of his four-year, $80.1 million contract. With free agency on the horizon, it would behoove the Pro Bowler to save his best for next year.

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