COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers rookie offensive lineman Forrest Lamp tore a ligament in his right knee Wednesday during the fourth practice of training camp.
Lamp was taken off the field on a cart, and the second-round pick’s injury was later diagnosed with an MRI exam. The results were another bad break for a franchise that struggled with inordinate injury problems over the past two seasons in San Diego.
“We’re going to miss him,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told the team’s official website after the diagnosis, which was revealed several hours after practice. “He was really getting better each day. It’s unfortunate, but like I’ve told him, things happen for a reason. He’s going to get some time off, so make sure he makes the most of it. But he’ll still be in it. He’s going to be around, and be in it mentally. He’ll remain an important part of the team.”
Los Angeles already is starting preparation for its relocation season without first-round pick Mike Williams. The receiver from Clemson won’t practice in training camp after hurting his back during the Chargers’ offseason workout program, and it’s unclear when he will return to uniform.
Lamp was the 38th overall pick out of Western Kentucky. He is expected to play right guard for Los Angeles after serving as Hilltoppers’ starting left tackle for nearly every game of his four-year college career.
Along with third-round pick Dan Feeney and free-agent signee Russell Okung, Lamp is a key factor in the rebuilding of the Chargers’ offensive line, which had a rough season in 2016. Lamp had been splitting first-team work at guard in the Chargers’ early practices with Kenny Wiggins.
The Chargers finished last season with 26 players on injured reserve, yet still finished in the top 10 in scoring. They lost five players to torn anterior cruciate knee ligaments last season, including Danny Woodhead, receiver Keenan Allen and cornerback Jason Verrett.
“From a mental perspective, it’s going to be tough,” Verrett told the Chargers’ website. “I want to tell him this is a chance to get his mind even stronger. You’re going to be dealing with a lot of ups and downs. There’s going to be adversity. I advise him to reach out to other linemen who have dealt with (knee ligament injuries) in the past to make sure he’s doing the best possible rehab.”
After waiving three starting offensive linemen during the offseason, Los Angeles is counting on building its bounce-back season around an offense loaded with healthy playmakers. Instead, two likely rookie contributors to that offense are sidelined indefinitely.
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