COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Ah, respite. Finally.
After four straight losses --- all within a touchdown, two coming in overtime and three to certain Hall of Fame quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Drew Brees -- the Los Angeles Chargers are getting the next best thing to a win: a bye and an extra week to get healthy, or at least healthier.
Because of postponements and schedule shifts due to the coronavirus pandemic and players testing positive for COVID-19, the NFL has had to do some tap dancing, determined to get all the games in without having to push back the playoffs and Super Bowl.
So instead of hosting the New York Jets this Sunday as originally scheduled while coming off a short week from the Monday night overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Chargers will host the Jets in Week 11. Also, they'll host the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7 instead of Week 8, play at the Denver Broncos in Week 8 instead of Week 11 and at the Miami Dolphins in Week 10 instead of Week 7.
Confused? These changes aren't necessarily bad for the Chargers.
As the cliche goes, you take them one game at a time and for the Chargers next up is the bye week, which should help Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram III, Keenan Allen, Justin Jones, Bryan Bulaga, Trai Turner and others heal from five weeks of on-field beatings. Even coach Anthony Lynn could use the mental break after the string of heartbreaking losses.
"The bye week couldn't come at a better time," Lynn said. "I think this team will come back a little healthier and I look forward to what's going to happen next."
Perhaps no one is looking more forward to that than Bosa, who has been playing with knee, ankle and triceps injuries. He didn't start last week against New Orleans but entered in spots and gave what he had (even his spin move). He was the highest-graded player on the Chargers on Monday, with five pressures on 24 snaps, and has four sacks thus far this season, tying Las Vegas' Maxx Crosby for the top mark among AFC West players.
His father, former NFLer John Bosa, is scheduled to arrive from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this weekend --- it's his turn to look after Joey's younger brother, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, who tore his ACL in September. Nick is living with Joey in Southern California as he rehabs his knee. (Their mom, Cheryl, took last weekend.)
"It's nice having them around," Joey said. "They're keeping the place tidy and the food is constantly running. I can't complain."
Bosa said he'll take some time with his father to discuss topics other than injuries and football, "maybe get a nice dinner and a few glasses of wine.
"Red wine, my mother taught me right," he said.
Even quarterback Justin Herbert, who has been stellar in his rookie season -- throwing for 1,195 yards and nine touchdowns, to three interceptions, on 97-of-141 passing in four games -- says he'll take a few hours to stretch and get his body right.
Bosa, though, acknowledged that while he was being selfish about wanting an early bye week, he might be regretting it when Week 10 (the originally scheduled off week) comes around.
But said Lynn: "Nothing's going to happen in 2020 that's going to catch us off guard."
Running back Justin Jackson said a bye week now allows for a reset.
"We still believe this team could be 5-0 right now," he said. "We'll get everybody fresh and make a run."