Patriots Coach Bill Belichick knows the challenge his team faces against San Diego defensive star Joey Bosa, left. “You have to know where he is on every play,” Belichick said. Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Bill Belichick didn’t take the bait when asked about Joey Bosa in relation to Lawrence Taylor. The Giants legend, who is one of the best defensive players in NFL history, is an all-time favorite of Belichick from his time as a Giants assistant coach.

But the 26-year-old three-time Pro Bowler is prominently featured on New England’s scouting report as the Patriots will face Bosa and the Chargers on Sunday in Los Angeles.

“You have to know where he is on every play,” Belichick said. “In their Buffalo game last year, he single-handedly changed the game and he almost single-handedly changed the outcome of the game almost by himself.”

In that game, Bosa had nine tackles, including six for losses and three sacks. He defended a pass and recovered a fumble. The Chargers lost to the heavily favored Bills 27-17 that day. But they showed a glimpse of what was to come. This year, at 4-2, the Chargers are playing like a postseason-bound team and Bosa has been a big part of that.

“He’s an impact player. It’s not just the negative plays, but the turnovers, the strip sacks, the batted balls, plays like that, that he makes, tackles from behind where he strips the ball out. You commit attention to him and that creates other problems in other spots. He’s a tough match up. Coach (Brandon) Staley does a good job with him. They move around a little bit,” Belichick said. “They bring five a lot, so it’s hard to double him. If you have five blocking four, you might have a chance to get some help to him, but when its five blocking five, it really makes it difficult. There are definitely some challenges that he presents and the scheme compounds it. He’s definitely a major problem.

“He’s got enough in his repertoire to give anybody problems,” Belichick added. “He has speed. Speed to power. Inside moves. Just general aggressive pass rush techniques. He has a good arsenal and he knows how to use it.”

Bosa has at least a half sack in four of the Chargers’ six games and has eight quarterback, hits including two last week on Batlimore’s Lamar Jackson.

• Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is questionable for Los Angeles’ game against New England on Sunday due to a hip injury.

Ekeler was a full participant on Wednesday but felt soreness in his hip after practice. He was sidelined on Thursday and Friday, but Coach Brandon Staley appeared as if he was trying to be cautious.

Ekeler is second in the AFC with seven touchdowns and fifth among running backs in scrimmage yards per game (99.7). He rushed for a career-high 117 yards in the Oct. 4 win over Las Vegas and has gone over 100 yards from scrimmage in four of the past five games.

BEARS: Chicago will be without outside linebacker Khalil Mack when it faces the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Soldier Field.

A foot injury has plagued Mack since early in the season and the Bears will rest him in hopes of healing it. Coach Matt Nagy said no decision has been made on putting their top pass rusher on injured reserve, which leaves open the possibility he would play Nov. 8 at Pittsburgh.

Mack has a team-high six sacks but went without one and had only one tackle in last week’s 38-3 loss to Tampa Bay. He had sacks in five straight games prior to that loss.

BROWNS: Quarterback Baker Mayfield will start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, returning after missing one game because of an injured left shoulder that will require management for the rest of this season.

Mayfield, who has a torn labrum and fracture in his non-throwing shoulder, practiced for the third straight day on Friday. Coach Kevin Stefanski announced afterward that the 26-year-old will be back in the lineup.

JETS: Wide receiver Corey Davis is unlikely to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals because of a hip injury suffered in practice Thursday.

Coach Robert Saleh said it was “not looking good” for Davis’ chances to be active, a big hit to a struggling offense already without starting quarterback Zach Wilson because of a knee injury.

Mike White will make his first NFL start in place of Wilson, who is out at least two games because of a sprained posterior cruciate ligament. But it appears White won’t have Davis, the Jets’ leading receiver with 24 receptions.

TEXANS: Rookie Davis Mills will start at quarterback for the Houston Texans on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, with Tyrod Taylor not yet ready to return from a hamstring injury.

Taylor practiced this week for the first time since injuring his hamstring in Week 2 and there was hope that he could play against the Rams. But Coach David Culley said Friday that Taylor wasn’t ready to return and Mills will make his sixth consecutive start.

TITANS: Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan has cleared concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

Lewan said Friday that he was knocked out before being carted off the field during a win over Buffalo on Oct. 18. He said he was told he was snoring and couldn’t move briefly when he woke up.

“I’m super lucky it was just what it was,” Lewan said. “It was a really surreal experience. Definitely not one I enjoyed.”

Lewan was very aggressive to help his recovery, trying a bunch of “legal” things to help. He began feeling better three or four days in. He credited Titans Coach Mike Vrabel and the rest of the franchise for understanding the challenges around concussions and taking them very cautiously.

RAMS: DeSean Jackson and the Los Angeles Rams are trying to find a trade partner for the veteran receiver, who is frustrated by his lack of playing time after just seven games with his hometown team.

Coach Sean McVay said Friday the Rams (6-1) are allowing the 34-year-old Jackson to look for a new team. Jackson, who signed a one-year deal with Los Angeles, won’t play Sunday when the Rams visit Houston (1-6).


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.