Early in the first half, right tackle Joe Barksdale had his leg rolled up on by teammate Orlando Franklin and sustained an unspecified injury to his lower leg. Coach Mike McCoy told the Fox broadcast at halftime that he did not yet know the severity of Barksdale’s injury, but it was encouraging to see him walk off the field on his own power.
Barksdale is incredibly important to the San Diego offensive line, which struggled badly last season. He was probably the lone bright spot, starting all 16 games and proving himself to be one of the NFL’s top right tackles. He was rewarded for his performance with a new four-year contract, and the Chargers will certainly hope his injury isn’t too serious.
Just before the end of the half, backup running back Branden Oliver had his foot stepped on and appeared to suffer a very serious injury to his Achilles. He was eventually carted off the field.
Branden Oliver has an Achilles injury and will not return. #SDvsMIN
— #SDvsMIN (@Chargers) August 28, 2016
Chargers RB Branden Oliver carted off the field after suffering an apparently severe right foot non-contact injury pic.twitter.com/o6QxcHwhab
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) August 28, 2016
A cart is coming out for Chargers RB Branden Oliver. He slammed right fist into field after being tackled.
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) August 28, 2016
This is why preseason is so terrible. https://t.co/PKRN3uFFg1
— Bolts From The Blue (@BFTB_Chargers) August 28, 2016
#Chargers already lost tackle Joe Barksdale (ankle). Now running back Branden Oliver being carted off.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 28, 2016
The Chargers still have Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead in the backfield, but Oliver worked nicely as a passing-down back last season and could have played a decent role in the offense had he stayed healthy the whole season. The Chargers didn’t exactly confirm that the Achilles was torn, but it sure looked like it on TV.
Source: CBS Sports / Chargers RB Branden Oliver and tackle Joe Barksdale exit game with injuries