The San Diego Chargers suffered a devastating blow last night as fans got news that wideout Stevie Johnson would miss the entire 2016 season with a torn meniscus.
Ian Rapoport tweeted, “Meniscus surgery for #Chargers WR Stevie Johnson was successful, but it’ll require months of rehab. A freak injury knocks him out for 2016.”
Johnson will need a lengthier rehab process based on the circumstances of his injury, which will cause him to miss the entire season.
The injury happened on the third day of training camp. As Johnson made a spectacular diving catch, he got up and starting running up the field. As he ran, he twisted his knee and had to be helped off of the field to the locker room.
Stevie Johnson made a rather surprising impact on the Chargers last season catching 45 passes for 497 yards and 3 TDs, but again injuries held him back causing him to only play in 10 games. He missed 6 games with various hamstring and groin injuries, never really cementing his spot in the lineup.
Despite not being as high on the depth chart as Johnson once was, head coach Mike McCoy knows how important of a piece this veteran wide receiver is to this team. “An unfortunate situation for everything he’s done to this point in time. We’ll go on from there.”
Stevie was penciled in to be their #3 wideout, with often injured Keenan Allen and newly signed Travis Benjamin being in the top two spots. Now, they have to switch gears. The Chargers signed veteran James Jones to fight for a roster spot, but he is still sitting in the #5 or #6 spot according to the San Diego Chargers official depth chart. Right now, the slot position belongs to Dontrelle Inman or Tyrell Williams.
“We’ll all have to pick it up while he’s gone. He’s meant a lot to me. Whenever I had an off day or a bad day on the field, he was always able to pick me up. You can definitely feel a difference when he is there and not there,” said Williams.
Johnson’s injury is a tough one to swallow for the Chargers. A sure handed and experienced wideout is needed on every team, not just San Diego. With the division basically locked up by the Broncos or Chiefs, the Chargers’ fight for the wild card will be made a little tougher with the injury to a top offensive weapon.