Chargers safety Derwin James missed all of last season with a knee injury and the team isn’t playing him in preseason games, so Thursday’s joint practice with the 49ers offered him his first chance to take the field with another team in a very long time.
James knew exactly who he wanted to match up with once he got on the field. James said he went to 49ers tight end George Kittle at the start of the session to say that “the people want to see us” go against one another and that they have to give the people what they want.
It was also what James wanted as he gauges where he stands in his long-awaited return to action.
“It’s big for me,” James said, via Gilbert Manzano of the Los Angeles Daily News. “We’re going out here going fast. I played against Kittle, one of the best tight ends in the league. Their offense is one of the best in the league. Seeing the looks from them only helped me get better.”
James was limited to five games in 2019, so it has been a trying couple of years for the Chargers star. Turning that around would be a major boost for the Chargers’ hopes of returning to the postseason.