Aug. 31 (UPI) — Los Angeles Chargers Pro Bowl safety Derwin James will need to undergo surgery on his injured right knee and will miss the entire 2020 season.
League sources told ESPN and NFL Media on Monday that James will require meniscus surgery, a procedure that is expected to sideline him for at least six months. That timeline could reach as much as eight months, essentially ruling him out for the season.
James sustained the right leg injury during Sunday’s practice session. According to the outlets, the standout defensive back received a second opinion, which confirmed that surgery would be necessary.
“They say God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers,” James’ agent, David Mulugheta, tweeted Sunday. “Prayers up on a full recovery for my guy Derwin James.”
James, 24, was the No. 17 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Florida State. He had 105 total tackles, 13 passes defensed, four tackles for a loss, 3 1/2 sacks and three interceptions in 16 starts to earn All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors as a rookie.
James began last season on injured reserve due to a stress fracture in his foot. He then returned to start the final five games of the season.
The Chargers have Desmond King, Nasir Adderley, Rayshawn Jenkins and Alohi Gilman on their roster as potential options to replace James at safety. Los Angeles could opt to sign his replacement in free agency.