Sources say Mike Williams has been out for two to three weeks with a broken back

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams He has a small, non-surgical fracture in his back that is expected to sideline him for two to three weeks, sources reported ESPN’s Lindsey Terry on Friday.

Barring the Super Bowl run, Williams’ season is likely over.

Williams is demoted to Saturday’s playoff game at the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chargers said Williams will remain in Los Angeles to continue receiving treatment.

The sixth-year receiver did not practice all week after being injured in the regular season finale against the Denver Broncos, a game that did not affect the Chargers position.

The initial x-ray on Williams was negative, and the first MRI also came back negative. However, Williams was not progressing as expected with the initial diagnosis of a back bruise, which led to an MRI and a fracture diagnosis.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley on Thursday defended his decision to play starting against the Broncos.

“It’s hard to say who plays and who doesn’t and who is more valuable than the rest,” Staley said. “What you’re trying to do is set a standard for your show on how you do things. That’s what I believe in, and I didn’t want anyone to get hurt in the process.” [the game]No matter their status, because everyone counts.”

A first-round selection in 2017, Williams has caught 63 passes for 895 yards and four touchdowns this season. He missed four games due to a sprained ankle, which involved him Keenan Allen in just four complete games in 2022. The Chargers were 4-0 in those contests.

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Joshua Palmerwho ranks second on the team in receptions (72) and yards (769), will start in place of Williams.

Williams has dealt with back problems throughout his career and missed the first five games of his rookie season in 2017 due to a back injury.

The fifth-ranked Chargers (10-7) are making their first playoff appearance since 2018 and take on the Jaguars in the postseason for the first time.

Information from the Associated Press is used in this report.

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