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COSTA MESA – The Chargers list of injuries continues to pile up, and star edge rusher Joey Bosa is among the latest players to be placed on injured reserve.

Bosa, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, will undergo surgery to repair his torn groin suffered in the first quarter of Sunday's 38-10 loss to the Jaguars. Bosa will miss at least four weeks – with the possibility of more – but the team expects him to return at some point later this season.

The Chargers will turn to second-year player Chris Rumph in place of the injured Bosa. Rumph, 23, was a standout during training camp and the preseason, but Sunday in Houston will go down as his first NFL start.

“First of all, we all want Joey back," Rumph said of his teammate. "This is nothing anybody wants. But I look at it as an opportunity to establish myself, to show these coaches that they can count on me when things like this happen. It's the NFL. Guys are going to get hurt."

Rumph, drafted by the Chargers in the fourth-round of the 2020 NFL Draft, has collected 23 tackles, one sack, three quarterback hits and one pass breakup across 19 games in a backup role.

"It's next man up. The standard doesn’t drop at all," Rumph said. "The same thing you expect out of Joey, I expect out of myself."

Rumph said the experience he's gathered throughout training camp and into the early stages of this season, working behind Bosa and Khalil Mack, have served as a benefit to his development.

“Those are two Hall of Famers," Rumph said of Bosa and Mack. "Any time I’m in a team meeting, I’m always picking their minds. When they’re talking by themselves, I’m always right behind them, picking up little things I can apply to my own game. I’m not expected to be Joey or Khalil, but there are certain things I can take from each one of them and apply to my own game.”

Chargers coach Brandon Staley said Rumph's taken notable strides of improvement from his rookie season to where he's at now in year two. Rumph will take the bulk of the snaps off the edge with veteran defender Kyle Van Noy also expected to contribute.

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“You’ve seen how much he has improved as a player," Staley said of Rumph. "He’s ready to play on the edge."

Rumph spent this offseason adding muscle to his frame. He's played 61 defensive snaps through the first three weeks, and Rumph says it's allowed him to see how his new profound strength has translated against the league's starting-caliber tackles.

“A lot of growth. He is stronger. I used to always pick on him all of the time and tell him he is a DB," Derwin James said of Rumph, jokingly. "That’s like my little brother. I love him a lot. I used to always say, ‘Man, you’re a DB.’ He’s come back this year, he’s stronger. He’s got his weight on and he’s more confident."

Rumph's first test will come against the Texans' offensive tackle duo that consists of Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard, who've allowed just two sacks collectively through the first three weeks.

"Our main mindset is to come out here, do our job, do our assignment, play with some effort and everything should go our way,"Rumph said of heading into the Week 4 game.


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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.