COSTA MESA — Edge rusher Joey Bosa and wide receiver Mike Williams each departed for the sideline in the second quarter of the Chargers’ loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Bosa was a little winded and a little sore in his second game back from groin surgery. Williams had injured his back.
Bosa will play in the Chargers’ AFC wild-card playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, only the second postseason appearance of his seven-year NFL career. Williams was listed as questionable to play after sitting out of practice this week to rest and rehabilitate his injury.
“I’m feeling good,” Bosa said. “A little sore, obviously, after the game last week. But it’s getting stronger every week. It’s a quick turnaround. I wish I had another day. I’m feeling good. I’m gaining confidence. I think last week, I had some better rushes than I did the week before and my wind was solid.”
Williams was unavailable for comment.
A final decision on his participation likely won’t be made until just before the kickoff Saturday.
“He’s progressing, getting treatment, just trying to get him as much rest as possible for Saturday,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said of Williams. “We’re hoping he’ll make it to the game. I think what changed is we’re trying to get him as much rest as possible because of the short (turnaround).”
Staley had said he expected Williams to practice this week.
Staley also said again that he wouldn’t have played it any differently Sunday, playing many of his starters well past halftime of a game that had become meaningless after the Cincinnati Bengals’ victory over the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the day had clinched the fifth-seeded playoff spot for the Chargers.
Bosa wasn’t pulled because of an injury or an aggravation, Staley said.
“It’s typical post-surgery soreness and playing in a football game,” Staley said. “We were just making sure that he was OK, confirming with our doctors and his doctor in Philadelphia, and that’s just how it goes after major surgery. Just making sure everything goes OK. He did not get hurt in the game.
“He’s going to be going at a high level on Saturday.”
Bosa sat out for 12 games after suffering a groin injury in the Chargers’ loss to the Jaguars on Sept. 25 at SoFi Stadium. He played a little less than half of the Chargers’ defensive snaps in a victory over the Rams on Jan. 1 and about the same number in Sunday’s loss to the Broncos.
Williams was hurt after he made a catch and was tackled in an awkward-looking play during the second quarter. He was assisted to the sideline, then taken from the field on a cart before halftime. Later, after the game, he needed assistance walking a few paces from the locker room to the team bus.
FRIENDS AND TEAMMATES
Bosa made a distinction between his return recently from a three-month layoff following groin surgery and his recovery from a foot injury before the Chargers advanced to the playoffs in the 2018 season. He said he feels a greater connection to his teammates now than he did back then.
“I feel like I’m a lot more excited this year,” he said. “Coming in after my foot injury, I guess I felt a little separated from the team, and this year, I feel like I’m a lot closer to all the guys. I feel like we’re all one big unit and I think we’re just getting tighter as the year goes on.
“Yeah, it’s exciting to play a playoff game with your friends and teammates. It’s my seventh year. I think I realized the importance of having a connection on the team whereas before, in my third year, I just wanted to do my own thing and go about my business and go home or whatever.”
The addition of fellow edge rusher Khalil Mack via a trade during the past offseason from the Chicago Bears also helped draw Bosa closer to his teammates. Mack began inviting the Chargers’ defensive players to a weekly dinner earlier this season and it’s grown into a full team dinner more recently.
“I don’t want to let him down if he calls me and wants me to come to dinner,” Bosa said. “I don’t want to just ignore him. He called me at 8:30 the other night. ‘Joey, where are you?’ I was in bed. It’s been good. It’s nice to have people you care about and want to be a better person for someone other than yourself.”