Chargers WR Mike Williams reportedly has torn ACL, out for season

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) is helped off the field after getting injured during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
Mike Williams was carted off the field in Minneapolis in the second half Sunday. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams left Sunday's victory against the Minnesota Vikings after sustaining a left knee injury. The team feared that it might be serious, and they were right. Williams had an MRI on Monday, which reportedly revealed a torn ACL.

A torn ACL means Williams' season is over after just three weeks, though he will reportedly be ready for training camp in 2024.

Williams injured his knee in the third quarter when he was running after a catch. Two Vikings defenders converged on him, but the replay doesn't show either of them significantly bumping his knee. What it shows is Williams planting his leg awkwardly just before he got tackled, meaning it could be a non-contact injury.

Williams was down on the field for several minutes and when he got up, he was unable to put weight on his knee and had to be helped off by several staffers. He was taken directly into the medical tent, and several minutes later was taken to the locker room on a cart. Williams had a towel draped over his head.

Williams had seven catches for 121 yards against the Vikings. He also caught a touchdown, but not from Justin Herbert. He caught it from fellow receiver Keenan Allen on a fun play that put the Chargers up 21-10.

The Chargers held on to beat the Vikings 28-24 intercepting a Kirk Cousins pass in the end zone with seven seconds left.

Williams, 28, has 19 catches for 249 yards with one touchdown over three games, and is second on the team in catches and yards behind Keenan Allen. That's a lot of production to replace, and they could look to rookie receiver Quentin Johnston, the Chargers' 2023 first-round draft pick out of TCU.

Over the first three weeks of the season, Johnston has played less than 25% of the total team snaps (which is what you'd expect with Williams and Allen as starters) and has six receptions on eight targets for 26 yards. But with Williams lost for the season, Johnston is likely to see a sharp increase in playing time starting in Week 4 against the Las Vegas Raiders.