Joint practices around the NFL have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons this week. Fortunately, that wasn't the case for the Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers as the teams held a joint practice on Friday ahead of Sunday's preseason game. Instead of a fight, it was third-year safety Derwin James that stole the show at practice.
With the 49ers on offense, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was looking to throw to one of his favorite targets, two-time All-Pro tight end George Kittle. While that's usually as reliable of a decision as they come, James managed to intercept Garoppolo's pass and returned it all the way for a Pick-6.
The play was a huge one, especially after James missed the entirety of the 2020 NFL season with a torn meniscus and due to time spent on the COVID-19 reserve list. Now that he's had time to heal, it looks like the former first-round pick hasn't lost a step. The Chargers were already a top-10 team against the pass last season without James, allowing just 223.6 passing yards per game (9th). With him back in the lineup, Los Angeles could experience more success in 2021.
Garoppolo and the 49ers will have a chance to get revenge for the interception on Saturday. San Francisco is favored to win the matchup at -230 odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, while the Chargers are the +190 underdogs.
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