After an offseason of franchise upheaval, the Chargers are finally about to start playing football. Kind of.
San Diego’s NFL club opens its preseason at home against the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night. You can even watch the exhibition game on TV, as the Chargers managed to sell enough tickets to avoid a local blackout.
Aside from the insult that is charging full price for a game that doesn’t count, the preseason is generally a poor indicator of regular season performance. In 2012, the Chargers went 3-1 in their pretend games before going 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the third straight year.
Nonetheless, the game will still be an intriguing milestone for the team, as new head coach Mike McCoy makes his debut. Unfortunately for McCoy, his team will not be at the strength he hoped for when he was hired in January. A rash of training camp injuries has hit many NFL teams, including the Chargers.
On Tuesday, backup wide receiver Danario Alexander tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while running a route against cornerback Shareece Wright. He is likely out for the year, as are linebackers Melvin Ingram and Jonas Mouton, who both tore ACLs during team workouts in May.
Another disappointing absence from Thursday’s game is likely to be running back Danny Woodhead. The former New England Patriot has been held out of practice all week for undisclosed reasons.
Fans attending the game should make their way to the gates extra early. This will be the first time out for the NFL’s enhanced safety policies that mandate see-through bags, among other dystopian restrictions, and the team expects long lines to enter the stadium.