The Chargers surprised many in the 2009 draft when they used the No. 16 overall pick on Northern Illinois defensive end Larry English. English was to transition to outside linebacker in San Diego’s 3-4 defense, and the Chargers already had a formidable-looking duo at the position in Shaun Phillips and Shawne Merriman with Jyles Tucker (5.5 sacks in ’08) emerging behind them.
English had never played linebacker before, and posted underwhelming athletic measurables in pre-draft workouts. After two NFL seasons, English has five career sacks and has started only four games.
The biggest setbacks in English’s first two seasons have been injury-related, and on Friday he showed up to Escondido’s (Cal.) Juniper Elementary School with a protective walking boot on his left foot.
English confirmed to the North County Times that he had foot surgery in March. The Times refers to English’s foot as a “broken-down appendage,” and the fear is that the injury has become chronic.
English also battled a strained hamstring in his rookie training camp, and underwent an initial surgery on the left foot in September of 2010. So he’s now had two foot operations.
The first procedure involved two screws being inserted into the foot.
Said English of the latest surgery, “They put another screw in because something was off. The doctors said it hadn’t healed right or the foot was re-broken. … Hopefully, the second time’s a charm.”
Perhaps English will realize his potential after two left foot surgeries. He’s been a bust to this point.
The Chargers will give English the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong after failing to bring in a starting outside linebacker in this year’s draft.