LA Chargers rookie WR Mike Williams starts camp on PUP list

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers placed rookie receiver Mike Williams on the physically unable to perform list with a back injury Saturday.

The Chargers are still optimistic that the seventh overall pick can avoid major surgery. The Clemson product herniated a disk in his lower back during the first day of the Chargers’ offseason program.

Earlier this week, general manager Tom Telesco said Williams expects to know more about his short-term prognosis after meeting with the Chargers’ team doctors this weekend.

“He’s been responding well” to treatment, Telesco said. “The path right now is rehab and strengthening. That’s good news, obviously.”

Williams recently had a second epidural shot to aid his recovery. Los Angeles wants to get Williams on the field at some point during training camp to prepare for his first season, but the club is unwilling to risk the long-term health of its new playmaker.

Telesco and new coach Anthony Lynn feel Williams is up to speed in the Chargers’ offense, but they expect the rookie to be attentive during his time on the sideline in camp.

“The one thing I talked to him about is mentally, if you’re out here and not practicing, it’s going to be hard on you,” Telesco said. “He’s young, and I think he can handle it. He has said all the right things.”

The Chargers also put cornerback Jason Verrett and safety Darrell Stuckey on the PUP list.

Verrett partially tore a ligament in his knee during a game in October, ending the season early for the Chargers’ 2014 first-round pick. The standout coverage corner was a Pro Bowl selection in 2015.

Los Angeles holds its first full practice of training camp Sunday in Costa Mesa, the Orange County city that will be their home throughout their relocation season.

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