Derwin James Jr. spreads holiday cheer as he prepares for the playoffs – Los Angeles Chargers Blog

Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. on Tuesday gave 12 lucky kids from Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast a holiday shopping spree he co-sponsored with Dick’s Sporting Goods of Tustin, Calif.

“I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas,” he said via video message.

Due to the NFL’s updated COVID-19 protocols, James could not be there to attend the shopping spree in person, but he sent a virtual message wishing them happy holidays and gave each child, in cooperation with Dick’s, $ 150 to spend in the store. Needless to say, they had a ball … or two … and added cleats and jerseys to their vacation collection. The children had wide eyes, while the boys chose blue shoes while the girls chose pink shoes.

James has been a big supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs, having played football at his local club in Polk County, Florida. He handed out Thanksgiving meals in Santa Ana last month and volunteered to support the children over Christmas.

On the football field, James continues to rehabilitate his hamstrings, which he injured at the end of the week before the Chargers’ Week 14 game with the New York Giants, keeping him out of the game. He returned for Thursday night’s game last week against the Kansas City Chiefs and made it worse during the game, knocking him out of the overtime loss.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley was not worried that James would make the injury worse by playing and is hoping he will be available on Sunday when the Chargers (8-6) play for the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium (1 p.m. ET, CBS). The Chargers currently hold second place in the AFC wild cards (No. 6 overall).

“I don’t think it’s any worse than before the ball game,” Staley said after the game. “I think that’s where we kind of closed it, during the game, so it didn’t get worse. He couldn’t open up on it, it was just kind of a seizure. , but there was no damage last night. He gave her everything he had. I’m so proud of him for trying. I hope these 10 days will give him some rest and get well, strengthen that and hopefully be here for us soon. “

The “mini-bye” after Thursday night’s game gave the players a football-free weekend, but the training facility was running at full speed, with the players receiving treatment. James knows all about it, as he missed the entire 2020 season with a meniscus tear in his right knee and much of the 2019 season because of Jones’ fracture to his right foot.

He’s played in just about every high school position this season, recording 103 tackles, forcing three fumbles and recording two interceptions. And he calls it defensive games.

“He’s a unique guy with his size and speed,” said Chargers defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill. “And the ability to think on the go.… We’re just trying to maximize all we can of him, because he brings so much to the table.”

And on Tuesday, he brought junior-sized cleats and sneakers, jerseys and balls.

“Merry Christmas,” James said. “Hope to see you very soon.”

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