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Chargers Wide Receiver Mike Williams Out for 2-3 Weeks After Minor Back Fracture

Mike Williams (Photo: NFL)

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams has been diagnosed with a minor, non-surgical fracture in his back, sidelining him for an estimated two to three weeks, sources informed Lindsey Thiry on Friday.

Barring an unexpected Super Bowl run, Williams’ season is likely concluded.

Williams was officially ruled out for Saturday’s wild-card playoff matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chargers announced that Williams would remain in Los Angeles to undergo continued treatment.

The sixth-year receiver had not participated in practice throughout the week following an injury sustained in the regular-season finale against the Denver Broncos, a game that held no playoff implications for the Chargers.

An initial X-ray did not show any fractures, and an initial MRI also yielded negative results. However, Williams’ recovery did not progress as anticipated based on an initial diagnosis of a back contusion, prompting further evaluation that revealed the fracture.

Chargers head coach Brandon Staley defended his decision to play starters against the Broncos during his Thursday press conference.

Mike Williams (Photo: Getty Images)

“Deciding who plays and who doesn’t, and assessing everyone’s value, is a difficult task,” Staley remarked.

“Our aim is to establish a standard for our program in how we approach things. I didn’t want anyone to get injured in that game, regardless of their status, because every player is crucial to us.”

Selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Williams has recorded 63 receptions for a team-leading 895 yards and four touchdowns this season.

He missed four games due to a high ankle sprain and was paired with Keenan Allen for only four complete games in 2022, all of which the Chargers won.

In Williams’ absence, Joshua Palmer, who ranks second on the team with 72 receptions and 769 yards, will start.

Throughout his career, Williams has contended with back problems, including missing the first five games of his rookie season in 2017 due to a back injury.

The Chargers, seeded fifth with a 10-7 record, are making their first playoff appearance since 2018 and are set to face the Jaguars in postseason play for the first time in franchise history.

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