Bolts Notebook: It's a Trap!

On paper, Sunday's game in Jacksonville looks like San Diego's easiest contest of the season. But given the inconsistent nature of this outfit, the Chargers must focus in or risk continuing their season-long "lose one, win one" trend. We look at three things to watch in Week 7.

Trap Game?

Last week's win over Indianapolis was written off by much of the national media as a trap game that the Colts fell into while looking ahead to Peyton Manning's Week 7 return. How much of that is true or not can be debated, but the fact of the matter is the Chargers are facing a trap game of their own this week in Jacksonville.

The Chargers face an 0-6 team that has progressed from embarrassing to competitive since game-breaking receiver Justin Blackmon returned from his four-game suspension. The Jaguars are looking for their first win under new coach Gus Bradley and would love to give it to him in front of the home fans.

It is not as though San Diego is above laying an egg on the road -- just look back two weeks to the 27-17 loss in Oakland. It could be easy to lose focus again with the bye coming in Week 8. Many Chargers players believe the team will win in Jacksonville to improve to 4-3, use the bye week to rest up, and then make a run at the AFC's second wild card spot after the break. It is a nice plan, but if San Diego stumbles on the first step, all the others may become irrelevant.

Injury Update

The two players to watch are linebacker Jarret Johnson and WR Eddie Royal. Johnson has been limited by a hamstring. Tourek Williams and Thomas Kaiser rose to the challenge against Indianapolis, but Johnson would really come in handy when trying to corral the dynamic Maurice Jones-Drew.

Donald Butler is out until after the bye with a groin injury.

Royal missed practice all week with a toe injury suffered against the Colts. But he is listed as questionable, so there is still a chance he could play. If he is down, it could mean some meaningful minutes for Seyi Ajirotutu.

As for the Jaguars, Blackmon is battling a hamstring injury. It will not keep him out of the game, but he could be limited. Also, TE Marcedes Lewis is working his way back from a calf injury and could play on Sunday. The former first-round pick has played in just one game this season because of injuries and has yet to catch a pass.

Familiar Faces

Derek Cox returns to Jacksonville after spending the previous four seasons with the Jaguars. Cox picked off a dozen passes during his time with the Jags but often frustrated fans by missing games with nagging injuries. So far this week he has offered high praise for the quarterback-receiver tandem of Chad Henne and Blackmon, both of whom he played with in 2012. On Sunday, it will be his job to get between the two.

Playing a lesser role on the other side of the field is Jordan Todman, Jacksonville's change-of-pace back and occasional kick returner who entered the league as a sixth-round pick of the Chargers in 2011.

What do you expect from the Bolts-Jags game? Discuss in the message boards.

Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

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