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Los Angeles Chargers’ Brandon Staley dragged for playing starters in Week 18

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley was on the receiving end of criticism during Week 18 of the 2021 season.

Los Angeles was taking on the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football to close up shop on the regular season. The winner was set to partake in playoff football with the loser going home for the winter.

Due to some insane in-game coaching decisions from Staley, Los Angeles dropped that game to end a miserable season for the young head coach.

Week 18 of the 2022 season is a bit different in that Los Angeles had already clinched a playoff spot heading into Sunday’s season finale against the Denver Broncos. Staley and Co. were also locked into the fifth seed and a wild card matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Florida.

Hence, why most figured that the Chargers would simply rest their starters against the last-place team. That was not the case. Instead, star quarterback Justin Herbert joined other first-team Chargers players in taking to the field.

As can be expected, this was met with more criticism directed at Brandon Staley. Once Joey Bosa and Mike Williams went down to injury this was magnified further.

Bosa was making just his second appearance since suffering a groin injury back in Week 3. The Pro Bowl edge rusher seemed to get banged up in the game and wasn’t seen on the sideline after exiting the field.

Meanwhile, Williams suffered a back injury and was carted off the field. Los Angeles initially listed him as questionable to return.

Like Bosa, Williams has a history of injuries. He played in just 10 games as a rookie due to issues with his back and knee. The recently-extended wide receiver also missed four games earlier this season to injury.

This has pretty much everyone in the football world asking what Los Angeles’ head coach was doing in what was seemingly a preseason game. It’s also interesting in that Staley is one of several NFL head coaches who opts against playing his starters during the exhibition slate.

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NFL world blasts Brandon Staley for playing Los Angeles Chargers starters