By Danny Cox
San Diego already is going to have enough trouble this weekend with Ben Roethlisberger returning to the starting line-up for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Chargers can say that a step in the right direction is that their injury list is really not as long as it has been in the past few weeks. While that may seem true and like great news, it really isn’t.
Their injury report is short because a large number of Chargers‘ players are now listed on “injured reserve” and just done for the season.
Still, the Chargers are looking at battling it out with the Steelers in Heinz Field with a number of “walking wounded” and unpolished players. They can only hope that for the sake of their dignity that the thrown together unit they have on the field can pull out a victory against a team that is fighting for a playoff spot.
Surprisingly enough, the Chargers have not yet place wide receiver Eddie Royal on IR. The speedy pass-catcher has missed a number of games and the last few weeks of practice with a hamstring injury. He hasn’t seen a field of any type, and really doesn’t need to risk further injury by pushing it.
By now, the Chargers have no viable shot at the playoffs and should really rest Royal until next year so that he doesn’t aggravate things.
Offensive tackle Jeromey Clary is out with a knee injury he recently suffered, and that’s going to make matters difficult for quarterback Philip Rivers. The offensive line is banged up beyond all belief still, and it has to make Rivers nervous as he hardly ever knows who will be protecting his back.
Making matters worse is that offensive guard Tyronne Green is listed as “doubtful” with a hamstring injury so he likely won’t be out there either.
Rivers has been sacked 14 times in the past three games, and that was with a few normal starters still in there. This week against the Steelers, the Chargers will have guys on the offensive line that haven’t played a down in weeks or even a year. Rivers will need to be alert at all times or he’ll be in the dirt constantly.
On the defensive side of things, linebacker Donald Butler is still out with a groin injury that has been bothering him. He likely won’t see much action the rest of this season either as there’s no sense risking further damage.
This past week alone, the Chargers placed wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu, center David Molk, and linebacker Antwan Barnes all on injured reserve. They joined Atari Bigby and numerous others on the 2012 permanent sidelines as the “injury mack truck” that has been talked about, has just decimated this Chargers’ team.
- S Darrell Stuckey (hamstring)
- TE Dante Rosario (hamstring)
- LB Jarret Johnson (back)
- S Corey Lynch (quadricep)
- T Mike Harris (ankle)
- OG Tyronne Greene (hamstring)
- WR Eddie Royal (hamstring)
- LB Donald Butler (groin)
- T Jeremy Clary (knee)
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Chargers news, see CBS Sports Los Angeles.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.