COSTA MESA, Calif. — Adrian Phillips will be out for an extended period, dealing another blow to the Los Angeles Chargers secondary.
The Chargers strong safety broke his right forearm while trying to tackle Detroit running back Kerryon Johnson during the fourth quarter of LA's 13-10 loss Sunday to the Lions. Phillips moved into the starting spot after Derwin James had surgery for a stress fracture in his right foot midway through training camp.
Coach Anthony Lynn said it is likely Phillips will be placed on injured reserve in order to add another defensive back to the roster. Besides James, cornerback Trevor Williams is on IR due to a quad injury.
"His versatility is huge. He was the captain of the secondary (after James got hurt)," Lynn said. "He will be hard to replace but we have guys who can fill his shoes."
Phillips, who is in his sixth year, has 13 tackles through the first two games. He was an All-Pro selection last year for special teams after leading the league with 19 special teams tackles.
Los Angeles (1-1) was missing six starters for the Detroit game and is starting to run into depth issues with Houston up next. Jaylen Watkins or Rayshawn Jenkins are likely to move to strong safety with Watkins having a slight edge due to his versatility. Second-round pick Nasir Adderley, who missed training camp due to a hamstring injury, could see more time at free safety but is still trying to get up to speed with the defence.
Jenkins moved over to strong safety after Philips' injury Sunday while Watkins came in at free safety.
Besides the injuries in the secondary, the Chargers are missing tight end Hunter Henry (knee), offensive tackle Russell Okung (blood clots), linebacker Jatavis Brown (ankle) and kicker Michael Badgley (groin). There is also running back Melvin Gordon, who has held out since the start of training camp due to a contract dispute.
"Right now we have enough but it does create a lack of depth," Lynn said. "We can't continue down this road. We're thin in certain positions."
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