Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams has been downgraded to out for Saturday's Wild Card Round game against the Jaguars.
After an initial X-ray and MRI came back negative, Williams underwent further tests that revealed a fracture in his back that is likely to sideline him for weeks if the team advances in the postseason, as first reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Williams injured his back in Sunday's Week 18 game, which led to him not practicing all week. Despite the game not having playoff impactions, Chargers coach Brandon Staley opted to play his starters.
“I stand behind what we did in that football game," Staley said. "All of my players are really important to me. There were a lot of players that were playing in that game that were in harm’s way. That is just the nature of football.
"It’s very difficult to decide who plays and who doesn’t, and who is more valuable than the rest. What you are trying to do is set a standard for your program about how you do things. That is what I believe in. I didn’t want anybody to get hurt in that game, regardless of their status, because everybody is important."
After Williams was previously listed as questionable, he will stay in Los Angeles to continue getting treatment after receiving a new diagnosis that will prevent him from playing in this week's postseason game.
Williams has been the Chargers' most productive pass-catcher this season, recording 63 receptions, 895 yards and four touchdowns. The Chargers have averaged 3.5 more points per game and over 50 yards more per game when Williams is active.
Williams has truly been the Chargers' only consistent downfield threat, challenging the opposition in the deep part of the field. Without him, the Chargers offense will likely rely on more quick game, attempting to put together long, methodical drives.
The Chargers elevated defensive lineman David Moa and running back Larry Rountree III from the practice squad, the team announced Friday. That means without elevating a wide receiver, the Chargers will enter the game with the four remaining on the active roster that includes Keenan Allen, Joshua Palmer, DeAndre Carter and Michael Bandy.
Kickoff for the Chargers-Jaguars Wild Card Round game is set for Saturday, Jan. 14 at 5:15 p.m. PT at TIAA Bank Field.
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Read more from Charger Report:
- Chargers Uncertain to Have WR Mike Williams For Wild Card Round Matchup vs. Jaguars
- Chargers at Jaguars Wild Card Round Injury Report: Thursday
- Chargers LT Rashawn Slater Shares Where He's at Physically, Completes First Practice Since Biceps Injury
- 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
Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.