While the Los Angeles Chargers picked up their first win of the season on Sunday, it did not come without a price. Star receiver Mike Williams will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL late in the third quarter. Williams has been an effective number-two wideout for the Chargers for many years now, recording two 1,000-yard seasons over the last four years and posting 249 yards through two-and-a-half contests this year. His loss is a big blow to the pass-heavy Chargers offense.
Third-year man Joshua Palmer — who had 769 receiving yards last year — will be the next man up for LA, while 2023 first-round pick Quentin Johnson will also assume a larger role in this offense. The Chargers could also look outside the organization and try to acquire a veteran receiver, either via trade or through free agency. Here are three options Los Angeles could pursue to replace the injured Mike Williams.
Jerry Jeudy (Denver Broncos)
After an embarrassing 20-70 defeat to the Miami Dolphins, it feels like it is only a matter of time before this Denver Broncos offense separates for good. Still, there is plenty of talent there in Denver, and fourth-year wideout Jerry Jeudy might be the most attractive commodity.
Jeudy has been on the verge of breaking out for a few years now, but a rotating group of inconsistent quarterbacks has capped his ceiling in the Mile High City. Still, the former first-rounder out of Alabama had 972 receiving yards last year while missing two contests, and he ranked 15th in the league with 14.5 yards per catch. With Keenan Allen as the dominant underneath option, Jerry Jeudy would be the perfect deep threat to balance out the Chargers offense and propel the team toward the playoffs once again.
Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals)
Tyler Boyd was the number-one wideout in Cincy during the last days of Andy Dalton, and he continues to be a mainstay in the Bengals offense, albeit is the third pass-catching option. Yet the 28-year-old is in the final year of his contract, and with so many high-priced playmakers in the Cincinnati offense, Boyd could end up being the odd man out. With Tyler Boyd entering free agency at the end of this season, the Bengals could look to recoup some assets for the loss of their long-time wideout, making him an ideal trade candidate this fall. With his familiarity playing alongside dominant receivers, Boyd would be the perfect fit for the Los Angeles Chargers offense.
Jarvis Landry (Free Agent)
Jarvis Landry opened up the 2022 season with seven catches for 114 yards in his debut for the New Orleans Saints. Injuries prevented him from repeating that type of performance, limiting him to nine games and three starts last year, but Landry still can make a difference on the field.
He is also a more affordable, low-risk option for the Chargers. Los Angeles very easily could have been 0-3 if not for an interception in the end zone with just a few seconds left against the Vikings. With a 1-2 record, the Chargers might not want to go all in on trading for an expensive veteran receiver.
They have solid in-house options in Joshua Palmer and Quentin Johnson, and the addition of a free agent like Jarvis Landry would give them a reliable third or fourth receiver at a discount price.