In every sports there’s always going to be injuries and off the field issues and we’ll always wonder “what if _______ never got injured?” In the NFL it’s already happened with guys like Robert Griffin III and Kevin White.
Derwin James was drafted 17th overall by the Chargers in the 2018 NFL Draft. It was seen as a bit of a draft day fall for Derwin but nonetheless he gave great first impressions as a rookie.He racked up 105 tackles, 3 interceptions, 13 passes defended, and 3.5 sacks in just his rookie year. He was also incredibly versatile and provided the Chargers with flexibility that can’t be represented by the stats.
He quickly developed into one of the best safeties in the entire league holding that Chargers defense together.
Behind his stellar play on the defensive side of the ball, and Philip Rivers slinging the ball on offense, the Chargers finished 12-4 and won a playoff game over the Ravens.The very next year Derwin James would get injured in camp with a stress fracture in his right foot. He would undergo surgery on that foot and ended up missing 12 weeks of the NFL season. The Chargers went a paltry 4-7 in his absence.
After a disappointing and underwhelming 2019, Derwin James was ready to come back better than ever in 2020.
Just two days ago however, the unfortunate news came out that Derwin James was injured and was taken out of practice.
Yesterday, it came out that Derwin had actually torn his right meniscus and will be requiring a full repair which will end up costing him 6-8 months meaning there’s no chance he returns for the season.Both injuries happened on the same foot, the right foot, and that’s never a good sign for a player.
Luckily these two injuries were in different locations, with one happening on a bone in the foot and another happening on a muscle in his knee.
Two leg injuries is never good though, it took just an ACL tear and a dislocated ankle to complete end the career of Robert Griffin. While Derwin’s injuries weren’t that bad they’re still going to be extremely tough to recover from, especially for a player who plays a position that requires as much speed and quickness as safety.
It’s really unfortunate that Derwin won’t get to play and I hope nothing but the best for him going forward but if Derwin can’t avoid getting injured he may just be the next “what if story.”
Photo: Jae C. Hong / AP