Chargers Designate Derwin James (Foot) for Return Off IR

Jason B. Hirschhorn

The Los Angeles Chargers could soon have one of their most impactful defensive players in uniform for the first time this season. On Monday, the team designated All-Pro safety Derwin James for return off injured reserve, opening the door for him to play as soon as Sunday's matchup with the Denver Broncos.

James fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during training camp, an injury that forced him off the field and onto injured reserve after final cuts concluded in September. James remained in a walking boot through October and could not participate in practice despite becoming eligible to return after Week 8.

However, James' foot made progress over the past month. Though he did not return to practice until this week, James performed some work off to the side during the Chargers' trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado, prior to last Monday's Mexico City game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Los Angeles might have another key figure from its secondary back in the fold as well. The team designated safety Adrian Phillips for return off IR last week and he remains on track to play in the near future. Phillips fracture his forearm during the team's Week 2 matchup with the Detroit Lions.

Though the Chargers face long odds as they attempt to earn a playoff berth, their current 4-7 record will not affect any decision on James or Philips. During a conference call last week, head coach Anthony Lynn said the Chargers planned to play both James and Phillips this season if their health permits a return. "We're not taking, guys," Lynn said.

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