Two Charger's Rookies are Out for the Pre-Season Opener
Jerry Tillery and Nasir Adderley will both be out for the Charger's first pre-season game against the Arizona Cardinals. Tillery had off-season shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. So, he's been brought along slowly throughout camp as he regains strength in that shoulder. It seems as if he is recovering nicely. His participation in practice is ramping up. So, we should expect him to make his debut soon.
Adderley missed all of rookie camp with hamstring issue and appeared to re-injure it during practice. While it is frustrating that we will not get to see Adderley compete for a starting safety position right away, it's a wise move to keep him out. Hamstring injuries have a knack for sticking around. Keeping him out and letting him fully heal means he will have a better chance of being available when the games matter.
Both of those injuries mean added opportunities for others. With Tillery out, I'd expect to see more of Justin Jones with the first team (as we did in the playoffs last season). Jones is a player I, and many others, have pegged as a breakout candidate. So, we will get to see how the new and improved Jones looks.
Adderley is in a three-way battle for the starting free safety spot. Right now, I'd expect him to finish second in that battle when the season starts, but, if he continues to be hampered by this hamstring, Jaylen Watkins could be the guy they turn to if Rayshawn Jenkins misses time. Being as that Adderley is a rookie, reps early on are extremely important to year-one playing time. This is magnified given the position he plays. Free safety is the last line of defense - a safety valve. If he doesn't know the defense well enough to be in the right position to be that safety valve, he isn't the best guy to have back there. So, he needs to be out there sooner rather than later, and holding him out and letting him heal is the first step in making that happen.