COSTA MESA – The Chargers could be without wide receiver Mike Williams for Saturday's Wild Card Round game against the Jaguars as he battles a back contusion suffered in last week's 31-28 loss to the Broncos.
Williams, the team's most productive pass-catcher, was carted into the locker room late in the second quarter last Sunday after the Chargers opted to play their starters for three quarters in the regular season finale despite the game having no impact on their playoff seeding.
Williams has been declared questionable for the game, but appears to have several hurdles to overcome before he's able to play.
"He's working through the treatment part of it," Chargers coach Brandon Staley said of Williams' status. "I don't think that when he got to the facility today, that was gonna be the maneuver that we made in terms of him being out there in practice.
"We just felt like the treatment part of it would be the best thing for him. Just the nature of the week in being a tighter turnaround, we're trying to get him the rest before the game on Saturday night."
While Staley was optimistic regarding the practice availability for Williams earlier in the week by saying he would get in a practice at some point, things changed and he was listed as a non-participant for each practice session this week.
"We're just trying to get him as much rest as possible because of the short timeframe," Staley said. "We're at that point in the season where reps aren't what matter, the rest is in his case."
Williams will travel with the team to Jacksonville and be tested in pregame warmups before deciding whether or not he will be active for the game.
"I've been with Mike now for two full years and I've also been with him through some injuries, so we trust Mike and his toughness," Staley said. "Again, there's a long time between now and game day so we're just going to try and take advantage of it. Mike is as tough as they come and if he can play, I know he will."
If Williams isn't able to give it a go, the Chargers will lean on Keenan Allen and Joshua Palmer as the team's top two wide receivers.
In four games this season in which Williams and Allen have each played at least half the snaps in a game, the Chargers are 4-0 and quarterback Justin Herbert leads the NFL in completion percentage (73.7).
Williams has 63 receptions, 895 yards and four touchdowns across 13 games this season.
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Read more from Charger Report:
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- Chargers OLB Kyle Van Noy Explains Why He Believes Playoff Experience is Overblown
- Chargers Designate LT Rashawn Slater For Return From Injured Reserve, Open 21-Day Practice Window
- Chargers Playoff Preview Mailbag: Facing Trevor Lawrence, Rashawn Slater's Timeline and Emphasizing Ball Security
Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.