Safety Derwin James, cornerback Bryce Callahan and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day have not practiced all week heading into the matchup.
Chargers defense could be up against it on Sunday: S Derwin James, DL Sebastian Joseph-Day and CB Bryce Callahan have not practiced this week due to injuries and aren’t on the field today.
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) December 9, 2022
This is a great sign for Miami, as the Chargers could be forced to turn to backups at multiple positions in Sunday’s game. The Dolphins have one of the best offenses in the NFL this season, so they should be able to exploit some of Los Angeles’ weaknesses.
James, a two-time Pro Bowler, already has 106 tackles in 12 games this season. He’s been dominant for the Chargers in their secondary, recording four sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles and five tackles for loss.
Losing the former first-round pick for Week 14 would certainly hurt the Chargers’ ability to contain Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle over the top. James is also a great pass rusher at his position, so Los Angeles will have to lean on other players to get to Tua Tagovailoa if James can’t go.
As important as James is, losing Joseph-Day would put Los Angeles in the toughest spot. The Chargers already allow a league worst 5.4 yards per carry this season.
Joseph-Day is one of their better defensive lineman, and with the unit already struggling, they can’t afford to lose more bodies before facing Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. The Dolphins running game struggled in Week 13, but this could be a prime spot for the team to bounce back.
As for Callahan, he’s been an integral part of Los Angeles’ secondary, picking off three passes in 12 games (nine starts).
Callahan came to the Chargers in the offseason after spending the two previous seasons with the Denver Broncos.
The Dolphins are certainly hoping to pull off a road win in Week 14 with the playoff race in the AFC heating up down the stretch of the 2022 season. The Chargers are sitting at 6-6 on the season and could be facing an uphill battle without these three important defensive players.
The Dolphins and Chargers are scheduled to kick off on Sunday night in Los Angeles.