October 25, 2021

Chargers’ O-line moves forward after injuries to Oday Aboushi, Bryan Bulaga

View Original Notice ? Chargers’ O-line moves forward after injuries to Oday Aboushi, Bryan Bulaga

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COSTA MESA — Right tackle Bryan Bulaga underwent surgery for a core muscle injury Tuesday, but there’s a chance he could return to play this season, according to Chargers coach Brandon Staley.

“That’s our anticipation in terms of the timeline that we’ve been given by the surgeon in Philadelphia,” Staley said about Bulaga possibly returning this season. “That timeline is yet to be expressed fully, but that is our anticipation.”

Bulaga, 32, hasn’t played since the season opener against Washington because of a back injury. Staley said the core muscle injury is not related to the back injury.

“The core muscle injury was during training camp that he was fighting through,” Staley said. “Then the back was something that happened in the Washington game, which was separate. So tried to take care of the back first, and then the core muscle injury didn’t respond as well as we had hoped in that timeframe.”

Right guard Oday Aboushi will soon be the second starting offensive lineman to have surgery for the Chargers. Aboushi sustained a torn ACL in the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Chargers placed Aboushi on injured reserve and signed guard Senio Kelemete from the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad. Kelemete, a 2012 fifth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, has played in 88 career games with 42 starts.

Staley said the current plan is for veteran guard Michael Schofield to start at right guard. Kelemete and rookie Brenden Jaimes are other options for the Chargers at guard.

Schofield will play next to right tackle Storm Norton, who has filled in for Bulaga since Week 2. Norton has struggled at times, but Staley has been pleased with his performances.

Schofield returned to the Chargers as a free agent on Sept. 17. The eighth-year veteran played for the Chargers from 2017 to 2019 before joining the Carolina Panthers last season.

“He didn’t miss a beat,” Chargers center Corey Linsley said about Schofield filling in for Aboushi last week. “I don’t think he was ever confused on a single play, which is phenomenal, especially because he’s only been here for, I don’t even know how many weeks, but you know, he’s a great add to our room.”


Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill sustained a pectoral injury during the final drive against the Browns.

Staley said he doesn’t expect the injury to be a long-term issue or one that will require Tranquill to go on injured reserve.

“We’re still receiving information about Drue,” Staley said. “We had initial scans with our doctors and our trainers and just seeking another second opinion. We don’t think it’s going to be anything long-term IR-wise. But we are going to make those determinations here in the next few days.”

The Chargers are already down linebacker Kenneth Murray, who has missed the last two games because of an ankle injury. The team added linebacker depth after signing Nate Hall to the practice squad on Wednesday.

If Tranquill can’t play this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, rookies Nick Niemann and Amen Ogbongbemiga could be options to start at linebacker next to Kyzir White.


Staley changed Wednesday’s practice to a walk-through workout because of the team’s short week with two games last week.

The Chargers played the Las Vegas Raiders on “Monday Night Football” and hosted the Browns six days later.

“Going on the East Coast trip, we just wanted to make sure that our guys feel their best for this weekend because we’re going to need it,” Staley said.


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