Half of Las Vegas’ 22 starters Sunday in opposition to the Chargers might be totally different from when these groups concluded the 2021-22 common season in opposition to one another in January.
The Raiders additionally can have a brand new teaching workers led by Josh McDaniels.
The Chargers will look totally different too, together with one participant who began that recreation Jan. 9 in Las Vegas. Security Derwin James Jr. arrived on the workforce’s facility this week with a really apparent haircut, his brief dreadlocks changed by a easy buzz.
“I just wanted to get it a little cleaner,” James defined Wednesday. “I want to go back to the real DJ3.”
James additionally will debut his new jersey quantity Sunday after switching from the No. 33 he wore his first 4 years within the NFL to the No. 3 he wore at Florida State. James mentioned school was the final time his hair was this brief.
“I feel amazing,” he mentioned. “I’m healthy, ready to go. … I can’t wait to go. It’s like the first day of school.”
The Chargers and Raiders produced epic theater of their most up-to-date assembly. Daniel Carlson kicked a 47-yard area aim as extra time expired for a 35-32 Las Vegas victory.
The end result — on a Sunday night time within the league’s closing regular-season recreation — saved the Chargers out of the playoffs after they would have certified with nothing worse than a tie.
The Raiders moved on to the postseason solely to lose the following weekend at Cincinnati.
Nonetheless, each groups have undergone vital adjustments within the eight months since. Six of the Chargers who began that 2021 finale are now not with the workforce. They’ve 22 new gamers on their 53-man roster.
“I think those of us who were at that game, that was as tough of a deal as you’re going to face as a competitor,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley mentioned. “But there’s just a lot that’s happened since then.
“Competition is about moving forward and being ready for what’s right in front of you. That’s what we’ve been working hard at all offseason, all of training camp, getting ready for this week.”
The Chargers open the season with a demanding brief stretch. After dealing with Las Vegas, they may journey to Kansas Metropolis for an additional AFC West recreation simply 4 days later.
Jackson not working towards
Cornerback J.C. Jackson didn’t apply as he continues to recuperate from a surgical process on his proper ankle.
Staley mentioned Jackson was out of his strolling boot and did some operating Tuesday. He referred to as the veteran defender “day to day,” earlier than including that “things are very positive.”
Jackson’s surgical procedure was Aug. 23, the Chargers asserting afterward that he’d return in two to 4 weeks. Wednesday marked two weeks and someday.
Given the timeline, the expectation has been that Jackson most likely might be unavailable for Week 1. However Staley mentioned he thought a closing resolution on Jackson’s standing wouldn’t be made till Sunday.
There have been not less than two reviews Wednesday that Jackson was anticipated to take a seat out the sport in opposition to the Raiders. If Jackson is out, Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr. would be the Chargers’ high exterior cornerbacks, with Bryce Callahan within the slot.
“The real positive is that we’ve played with everybody in the secondary,” Staley mentioned. “We know exactly how to use them. I think that’s the exciting thing. For us as coaches, that’s the comforting thing.”
The additions for Las Vegas since final season embody receiver Davante Adams, an All-Professional the final two seasons. Adams is the kind of wideout the Chargers doubtlessly might assign to Jackson for almost all of snaps.
James and quarterback Justin Herbert had been among the many eight gamers voted by their teammates to be captains for the season.
The others included edge rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day, huge receiver Keenan Allen, operating again Austin Ekeler and middle Corey Linsley.
Mack and Joseph-Day each joined the Chargers within the offseason.
“Super thankful for the guys here, just embracing me and welcoming me,” Joseph-Day mentioned. “For sure, I’m not going to let them down.”
And many others.
Tight finish Donald Parham Jr. (hamstring) was restricted in apply. … The Raiders had no gamers listed on their preliminary harm report.