Chargers receiver Mike Williams is considered week-to-week after sustaining a shoulder sprain, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Rapoport added that Williams’ collar bone is currently intact. Williams appeared to suffer the injury on Sunday, and was seen leaving practice early. The Chargers have less than three weeks before they open the season in Cincinnati against the Bengals. Williams’ status for that game is currently unclear. 

The 26-year-old Williams is entering a pivotal season as far as his future earnings are concerned. The seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft, Williams, who is still in the middle of his rookie contract, is the 46th highest paid receiver (in terms of annual salary) in the league heading into the 2020 season. That’s quite a bargain for a player who led the NFL with a 20.2 yards per reception average in 2019.

Last season was a breakout year for Williams, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving barrier for the first time in his career. His breakout performance took place in Week 9, when he caught all three of his targets for 111 yards in a road win over the Packers. 

Williams is part of one of the better receiving duos in the NFL along with Keenan Allen, a Pro Bowler each of the past three seasons. Last season, Allen caught a career-high 104 passes for 1,199 yards and six touchdowns. He caught at least five passes 12 times during 2019, including a 13-catch, 183-yard, two touchdown performance in the Chargers’ Week 3 loss to the Texans. 

The Chargers’ offense also includes running back Austin Ekeler, who made the most of his increased playing opportunities last season in relief of Melvin Gordon. Last fall, Ekeler amassed 1,550 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns, including 92 receptions for 993 yards and eight touchdowns. Ekeler’s performance earned him a four-year, $24.5 million contract with $15 million guaranteed.

Williams, Allen and Ekeler will look to make life easier for veteran Tyrod Taylor, who is slated to open the season as the Chargers’ starting quarterback. A 10-year veteran and 2015 Pro Bowler, Taylor has a 23-21-1 record as a starter. The 31-year-old Taylor has also been working closely with rookie Justin Herbert, who recently saw time against the Chargers’ first-team offense.

“He’s out there making plays,” Taylor said of Herbert, via the Los Angeles Times. “There’s still a learning curve, a learning process like [with] every young player in this league. But he’s doing his best. He’s going out there and making plays.”


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