There reportedly isn't a timetable yet for James' recovery. The Chargers told Rapoport that the 23-year-old has been diagnosed with a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, and he'll continue to be evaluated.
James was seen on Friday with a walking boot on his foot, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN. Losing the ultra-versatile Florida State standout is potentially devastating for a Chargers team managing a multitude of issues with star players.
Running back Melvin Gordon is reportedly ready to hold out during the regular season to force a new contract or trade, receiver Keenan Allen is reportedly likely to miss the rest of the preseason with an ankle injury, and left tackle Russell Okung remains on the non-football illness list after suffering a pulmonary embolism.
James made an instant impact after being taken with the 17th overall pick in the 2018 draft, racking up 105 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three interceptions on his way to finishing second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.
The young defensive back's ability to line up all over the field - including both safety positions, slot and outside cornerback, linebacker, and even occasionally on the defensive line - is key to defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's scheme.
James made the Pro Bowl and was named a first-team All-Pro as a rookie.