The Los Angeles Chargers suffered a surprising 41-29 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday, and they were not helped by the amount of players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. L.A. will have to continue to fight for a playoff spot short-handed, however, as head coach Brandon Staley already ruled out several players for this Sunday's matchup against the Denver Broncos due to COVID-19.
According to Staley, wide receiver Mike Williams, safety Nasir Adderley and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. will miss the pivotal game due to being on the reserve/COVID-19 list, per Fernando Ramirez of SI. Williams was added to the list on Christmas, and due to the 10-day quarantine rule for unvaccinated players, he will miss Sunday. The NFL recently updated their protocols so that vaccinated players could "test out" of protocols more quickly. Since Adderley and Harris have already been ruled out, it would appear they are unvaccinated as well.
Adderley and Harris were not the only new additions to the Chargers' reserve/COVID-19 list. L.A. also added cornerback Michael Davis, safety Alohi Gilman, pass-rusher Emeke Egbule, offensive lineman Senio Kelemete and defensive lineman Andrew Brown, per Daniel Popper of The Athletic.
As of Monday, the Chargers are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff race. At 8-7, they are looking up at the 8-7 Baltimore Ravens, 9-6 New England Patriots and 9-6 Indianapolis Colts. Behind them are the 8-7 Las Vegas Raiders, 7-7 Miami Dolphins, and 7-7-1 Pittsburgh Steelers among others. The Chargers host the Broncos on Sunday and then take on the Raiders in Vegas to finish out the regular season. They may need to win both to make the playoffs.