COSTA MESA — Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa mentioned in his opening remarks to members of the media Sunday that he’s dealing with soreness.
The red flags immediately went waiving in the minds of reporters, and for the fans watching the live news conference feed, they might have received a scare listening to Bosa, who admitted in May to feeling soreness in the left foot that caused him to miss the first nine games of the 2018 season.
Bosa was referring to the usual body soreness players get at the start of training camp. The Chargers’ star pass rusher wasn’t even thinking about the foot after four camp practices.
“Oh, no. My foot’s feeling great,” Bosa said. “I mean, like I said, I’m going to be dealing with soreness. It actually has gone down so much, I hardly even think about it these days. (I mean) just normal groin and hips and normal start-up kind of soreness.”
Soreness might not seem like a big issue, but last summer, the Chargers and Bosa deemed it a minor injury and didn’t appear to be concerned. It turned out to be a Lisfranc injury that nearly forced Bosa to have season-ending surgery.
Bosa returned for the final nine games last season, including the two playoff games, and recorded a career-low 5.5 sacks. He occasionally flashed the dominance that made him one of the top pass rushers in the NFL, but Bosa said he wasn’t at full strength. He would rather forget the 2018 season.
“I don’t like watching film from last year, it wasn’t me,” Bosa said. “I (didn’t) have the same power, the same strength. It’s not excuses, it is what it is. It’s a fresh slate this year. I just kind of want to put that behind me what happened last year. I’m in a much better place this year – knock on wood – and I hope I continue to stay healthy. I just want to continue improving.”
Although he continues to feel foot soreness, Bosa said he’s confident he’ll be able to play at 100 percent once the regular season starts.
“I have confidence in my body that it’s going to be okay as long as I continue to take care of it,” Bosa said. “As long as I’m recovering well, stretching and staying on top of my things, I feel confident with going full-speed.”
Bosa said he’s using the injury-plagued season as a learning experience and gave his younger brother, Nick Bosa, guidance on how to deal with injuries. Nick Bosa, who was drafted second overall by the San Francisco 49ers this year, missed most of the offseason with a hamstring injury.
“It definitely makes you grateful for the time you have out here,” Joey Bosa said. “I don’t know if it makes me a better player that I have a messed-up foot — it’s not messed up, but you know what I mean.”
Bosa caught himself that time. No need to panic, Chargers fans..
Teammates take notice of Davis
It’s rare when star players get called out by the newcomer, but not every player has the leadership credentials that Thomas Davis has.
The Chargers have already noticed Davis’ stern guidance and star defenders Bosa and Derwin James are embracing it.
“He’s given me crap about not running off the field, which I don’t get enough, so it’s good,” Bosa said about Davis. “It’s just good to have a leader like that, and to see a guy, like I said, who’s been in the league for so long. It’s just impressive to see how hard he comes out to work every day.”
Davis, a former long-time captain for the Carolina Panthers, signed a two-year contract with the Chargers in March. Davis is well respected around the league for his leadership on and off the field.
“I thought I was a leader until I met (Davis),” James said. “He’s a leader that you can’t even explain, man. Just the little things like taking the field with pride, running on the field and making sure everyone is lining up — just doing everything right. He’s like a watchdog. He literally watches everybody on the field.”
The Chargers are easing Davis into his new environment after spending his first 14 seasons in Carolina. The former Walter Payton Man of the Year got a day off on Sunday.
Running back Detrez Newsome limped off the field favoring his right leg after colliding with linebacker Kyle Wilson toward the end of Sunday’s practice. No injury update was provided because coach Anthony Lynn wasn’t scheduled to speak to reporters. Newsome is expected to have a prominent role in the offense if Melvin Gordon’s holdout lingers into the regular season. …
In a surprising move, the Chargers waived/injured wide receiver Dylan Cantrell (shoulder), a 2018 sixth-round pick from Texas Tech. The team did the same with wide receiver Fred Trevillion (hamstring) and signed wide receivers Malachi Dupre and Jordan Smallwood. Teams had 24 hours to claim Cantrell and Trevillion on waivers. If they go unclaimed, they’ll be placed on the Chargers’ injured reserve list. The team can officially release them after the players are healthy enough to pass a physical or if the two sides agree to an injury settlement.
Cantrell suffered an injury for the second consecutive training camp. Most of his rookie season was spent with the practice squad before being promoted to the main roster in the final month, but he never played a down with the team. Even if Cantrell were healthy, he had an uphill battle to make the roster with wide receivers Artavis Scott and Andre Patton impressing coaches.