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How to handle Mike Williams injury in the 2023 NFL Wild Card round

Mike Williams is on the Chargers’ final injury report for the Wild Card round of the 2023 NFL Playoffs. We break down what it means for fantasy football roster decisions.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As feared, Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams will not play in this week’s Wild Card game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He might not play next week or the week after that, IF the Chargers win on Saturday. ESPN reported that Williams has a small fracture in his back that won’t require surgery.

That puts the Chargers in a tough spot for Saturday’s game.

Fantasy impact: Mike Williams (back)

Despite a 10-5 finish and a Wild Card spot, head coach Brandon Staley’s season will be defined by his decision to play his starters against the Broncos in Week 18, despite having the AFC’s fifth seed all locked up. Williams, the team’s top wide receiver, was hurt in that game, getting carted off the field in the second quarter of that game.

Williams missed four games during the regular season, and the Chargers were 1-3 without their only real downfield threat. Without Williams, Keenan Allen will likely see the most looks from quarterback Justin Herbert. Josh Palmer slid into the No. 2 role with Williams gone, and could see a high volume again this week. DeAndre Carter also saw more involvement during those four contests with Williams on the shelf, scoring twice with Williams on the shelf (though one of those came with Allen out as well.)