SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Chargers left tackle King Dunlap is relieved his latest injury is a strained neck and not a third concussion this season.
Dunlap didn’t practice Wednesday and he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to play in Sunday’s game at Miami.
“I’m very relieved not to have my head messed up again. Just a neck thing,” Dunlap said Wednesday. “I’m still a little sore today. Other than that I feel good. If I had to be happy about being injured, I guess I’d be happy it’s just a neck strain.”
The Chargers announced during Sunday’s loss to Denver that Dunlap had a concussion. On Monday, coach Mike McCoy said the team erred on the side of caution after Dunlap showed “some symptoms.” Dunlap was seen by doctors Monday and the strained neck was diagnosed.
Dunlap, who protects Philip Rivers’ blind side, said it didn’t feel like another concussion.
Dunlap suffered a concussion during a loss at Tennessee on Sept. 22 and missed the next two games. He suffered another concussion Oct. 20 at Jacksonville and had the bye week to recover.
“When it’s game time, when it’s time to strap up, you just go out there and just play. If you go out there worried about being hurt, sometimes that’s when you get hurt,” Dunlap said. “When we’re out there on the field you just let it loose and just play however you can.”
Also Wednesday, defensive end Corey Liuget reiterated that his hit on Peyton Manning on Sunday wasn’t intentional. Manning aggravated his high ankle sprain when Liuget hit him after a completion in the closing minutes of Denver’s 28-20 victory.
The Broncos asked the league to look at that hit, contending it was late and low and should have drawn a flag. An NFL spokesman, however, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the league determined the hit was clean.
“I didn’t really pay too much attention to it, but the NFL said it was a legal hit, so I guess it is a good hit,” Liuget said. “I’m never in the game to hurt anyone or go after anyone. The whole thing is just trying to make a play. I knew my true intentions and the league knows it wasn’t a dirty hit or anything. I’m totally fine with what I did on the play.”
As the Chargers began preparing to face the Dolphins in a matchup of teams that are 4-5, cornerback Derek Cox was back with the first team. He’s been benched during each of the last two games, both losses. He was benched after failing to make a play on tight end Julius Thomas’ 74-yard scoring catch Sunday, a play that safety Eric Weddle and rookie linebacker Manti Te’o also had a hand in botching. Cox came back in after cornerback Shareece Wright was hurt.