The Chargers will be without a starter up front for the foreseeable future. Center Corey Linsley will be placed on IR Saturday, as detailed by Daniel Popper of The Athletic (subscription required).
Linsley is dealing with what the team called a “non-emergent heart-related medical issue.” While he turns his attention to recovery from the ailment, his IR placement will force him to miss at least the next four weeks. That news represents a blow to a Chargers offense that is already without top running back Austin Ekeler for the time being and lost wideout Mike Williams for the rest of the season.
The former All-Pro blocker’s absence will be significant given his importance to Los Angeles’ offensive front. Linsley signed a five-year, $62.5M deal in 2021 as part of the Chargers’ O-line overhaul. The $12.5M AAV of that pact ranks fourth in the league among centers, and comfortably makes the former fifth-rounder the team’s highest-paid offensive lineman. His performances with the Chargers have not always lived up to the terms of that contract, however.
Linsley earned a strong 85.7 PFF grade in 2021, keeping in line with his career-best performance the previous season at the end of his Packers tenure. That mark slipped to 74.2 last season, though, and his evaluations so far have yielded a grade of just 63.5, the lowest of his career. While the 2023 season is still young, that trend is certainly a concerning one for the Chargers’ level of play at the pivot.
With Linsley now set to miss at least one month, Will Clapp (who re-signed on a one-year deal in April) will step into his first-team role. The latter filled in as a starter on three separate occasions last year while the former dealt with various injuries and a case of food poisoning. This latest ailment is obviously more serious, and updates will be worth watching for in the coming days and weeks. Linsley will meet with both team doctors and outside specialists in the near future, the team announced, meaning further clarity on his condition and prognosis may be attained soon.