Chargers' Anthony Lynn: Derwin James has 'looked better every single practice'

Jason B. Hirschhorn

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Though the Los Angeles Chargers don't expect to reach the playoffs this season, they still believe they can benefit from the final four games of the schedule. Head coach Anthony Lynn discussed the mindset of his team as well as the progress he has seen from star safety Derwin James.

James, an All-Pro selection as a rookie in 2018 and one of the linchpins of Los Angeles' defense, missed the first three months of the regular season with injury. During training camp, he suffered a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, forcing him to wear a walking boot for a prolonged period of time. The Chargers placed James on injured reserve shortly after the start of the regular season.

However, James began practicing last week, eventually making his 2019 debut during Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Denver Broncos. James made several plays during the game and earned praise from his coaches.

James has also improved since returning, at least according to his coaches.

"Of course," Lynn says. "He hasn't played since August, so he's looked better every single practice."

Though James returned too late to save the Chargers' season, any progress he makes as a player could manifest in 2020 when he presumably appears in more than a handful of games. Still only 23, James has plenty of runway to develop into an even better player than the one who became a rookie sensation just a year ago.

-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH