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Derwin James back at practice for Chargers

Derwin James

Strong safety Derwin James returned to practice for the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday, signaling a big boost on its way for the struggling AFC West franchise.

The Orange County Register’s Gilbert Manzano reported seeing James back at practice today, with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirming the second-year safety was back on Monday.

James, a 23-year-old sophomore defensive back, discovered a stress fracture in his right foot during training camp this past August, which led to the Chargers placing the first-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft on the injured reserve (IR) list. A Pro-Bowler and All-Pro safety in his first season out of Florida State, James recorded three interceptions last season and his return to the gridiron for Los Angeles could be instrumental in solidifying the secondary towards the late season.

Even without James, the Chargers are one of the top teams in opponent passing yards allowed, with the fourth-fewest yards allowed at 2,258. However, L.A. is about middle of the pack in passing touchdowns allowed and interceptions taken away this season.

Last week James told NFL Network’s Lindsay Rhodes he was close to a comeback and “feeling better.”

“I’m feeling well, feeling better, getting better every day,” James told NFL Network’s Lindsay Rhodes on Tuesday’s edition of NFL Total Access. “Just taking it day-by-day. It’s real close, real soon. I can say that. So just taking it day-by-day. Working hard to get back out there.”

With the Chargers at 4-7 and coming off their bye week, James’ presence in the secondary would be a much-needed boost as the season winds down, presenting L.A. with a stronger defense to maybe make something out of so-far losing year.