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Another early end for Bob Sanders

San Francisco 49ers v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

The injury bug has taken another big bite out of Bob Sanders.

Sanders’ season is over after the Chargers placed him on injured reserve Wednesday, three days after he missed their Week Three win with a knee injury. The early end to Sanders’ season shouldn’t come as much surprise to anyone who has followed Sanders’ career. Since winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award for the 2007 season, Sanders has played in just 11 games for the Colts and Chargers as one injury after another has kept him from being on the field reliably. The Chargers were hoping he’d be able to stay healthy enough to help their secondary after he was released by the Colts, but it just wasn’t in the cards for a player who was as good as they get when he was able to be in uniform.

“All we wished for Bob was good health and hoped to turn him loose to do his thing, which was being one great, physical, highly-competitive player,” General Manager A.J. Smith said in a statement. “It didn’t work out for him or us, and we wish him the very best. He was with us a very short time, but made a positive impact with our team in many ways, and I’ll always appreciate that.”

When this season comes to an end, Sanders will have played 50 out of a possible 128 regular season games since being drafted out of Iowa. The words what might have been come to mind.

The Chargers will fill his roster spot with another player trying to recapture their former glory. They signed defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who was a Pro Bowler with the Bears. His play slipped significantly over the last two years and he lost his starting job in 2010. Harris was cut by the Colts in training camp and could play relatively quickly for a Chargers team that has been ravaged by injuries on their defensive front.

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99 Responses to “Another early end for Bob Sanders”
  1. tallguyme says: Sep 28, 2011 5:05 PM

    Gotta think he’s done. Who else would take a chance on this bag of glass?

  2. infectorman says: Sep 28, 2011 5:07 PM

    steroids

  3. boltstayinsd says: Sep 28, 2011 5:07 PM

    Sigh. No surprise there.

  4. escoboltsfan says: Sep 28, 2011 5:07 PM

    hopefully Harris can play decent, the line looks good, but injuries will catch up with them.

  5. damnyoulinelliot says: Sep 28, 2011 5:08 PM

    Best modern-era NFL player that could never stay healthy.

  6. The Phantom Stranger says: Sep 28, 2011 5:08 PM

    Has there ever been a player who has had so many major injuries? It’s really too bad. Bud Grant used to say a player’s value isn’t measured by his ability but by his durability.

  7. fsubrowns9510 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:08 PM

    Hang em up Bobby. Cant believe teams still rely on him to play at a high level.

  8. kayotiicdat says: Sep 28, 2011 5:10 PM

    Color me shocked

  9. pir8life says: Sep 28, 2011 5:11 PM

    Tough position. Gotta hand it to John Lynch and Ronnie Lott for bringing the heat as long as they did.

  10. tinbender2000 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:11 PM

    I feel bad for Sanders. A.J., not so much.

  11. iminurheadz says: Sep 28, 2011 5:12 PM

    shocking

  12. croghan1919 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:13 PM

    Sorry to hear this.
    He has the heart of a junk yard dog, but the body of Yorkshire Terrier.

  13. ctattles says: Sep 28, 2011 5:14 PM

    Dont retire Bob. Some one should.give him one more.chance.next year.

  14. gacoltfan says: Sep 28, 2011 5:14 PM

    Colt fans shouldn’t leave negative comments about his injury problems. If not for Bob, they probably don’t win Super Bowl in 2006.

  15. escoboltsfan says: Sep 28, 2011 5:14 PM

    Steve Gregory looked filling in too, maybe Stuckey gets on the field now, he is always around the ball.

  16. unbreakable02215 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:15 PM

    Karma for trying to take out Aaron Hernandez’
    knee. Fortunately he only sprained his MCL.

  17. boopipes says: Sep 28, 2011 5:16 PM

    It’s hard to remember when Bob was effective it was so long ago. I do remember him being a game changer in the short time he was healthy.

  18. 2sloweggroll says: Sep 28, 2011 5:16 PM

    Really to bad. This guy brought in his prime. He was too reckless in being a competitor.

    Great Player!

  19. steeltown56 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:16 PM

    Time to let it go. He maybe would have been 1 of the greats. When he entered the NFL, I remember someone saying he was to tough for his own good. Best of luck to him.

  20. turtlehut says: Sep 28, 2011 5:17 PM

    Polian and the Colts like these fragile guys.

    Melvin Bullitt, who played 4 games last year was just placed on IR for 2011!

  21. patsfiend says: Sep 28, 2011 5:18 PM

    Too bad with him. He plays hard. As a Pats fan, felt he played best against us after Reed, as a safety.

    He should give old Rodney a call to see if he can get some advice with anything that allows him to Help Get Healed quicker.

  22. tedmurph says: Sep 28, 2011 5:18 PM

    Now that there is HGH testing, he’s done.

  23. croghan1919 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:21 PM

    Sorry to hear this.
    He has the heart of a junk yard dog, but the body of Yorkshire Terrier.
    And YES, I am a Colts fan.

  24. jacksonvilledave says: Sep 28, 2011 5:22 PM

    Coming from a Jags fan, Bob was a beast when healthy. Hate to hear this.

  25. getadealdonealready says: Sep 28, 2011 5:23 PM

    Wouldn’t it be more newsworthy if Sanders were healthy?

  26. judsonjr says: Sep 28, 2011 5:23 PM

    Only Bob Sanders could make former Bear Mike Brown seem like Lou Gehrig.

  27. arbiterflick says: Sep 28, 2011 5:23 PM

    I know most of you probably can’t wait to post a ‘funny’ comment, but try to show a little class.

    It’s the end of a career for somebody who could have been a really special player. Think about that before you hit submit.

  28. deadmanwalking47 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:24 PM

    is sanders any kind to malcom kelley? he’s the only guy that gets hurt more than kelley does!

  29. paulydefense says: Sep 28, 2011 5:26 PM

    We should just assume that he’s out for the year every season unless we’re told otherwise.

  30. ianwhetstone says: Sep 28, 2011 5:26 PM

    “it just wasn’t in the cards for a player who was as good as they get when he was able to be in uniform.”

    If by “they,” you mean “the group of players starting at the rung below the truly top notch guys like Polamalu and Reed,” then sure, he was as good as “they” get.

  31. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:28 PM

    I really hope he comes back and stays healthy from here on in.

    There was a tackle in the Patriots game that he made that I was sure that he suffered this injury on. I’m not sure if there is a clip online, but he came flying in from outer space to nail a guy and his body went flying.

  32. westnorthcoast says: Sep 28, 2011 5:28 PM

    Sorry to hear this news. The guy played with all of his heart and every bit of his capabilities. Simply, his 5’9″ frame could not take any more of the pounding from all of the damage. I am assuming he has had 20+ surgeries/procedures in the last five years to get him on the field. I wish him a speedy recover and the ability to play with his grandchildren some day.

  33. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:29 PM

    I really hope he comes back and stays healthy from here on in.

    There was a tackle in the Patriots game that he made that I was sure that he suffered this injury on. I’m not sure if there is a clip online, but he came flying in from outer space to nail a guy and his body went flying.

    Can’t blame AJ for taking a flyer on him. He and Weddle would have been a fantastic tandem down the stretch.

  34. turdfurgerson68 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:30 PM

    Even all banged up he’s better than anyone the Patriots have lined up with Patrick Chung this season!

  35. twister696 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:34 PM

    A 5’8″ battering ram that doesn’t hold up . . . go figure???

  36. waltdawg says: Sep 28, 2011 5:34 PM

    I heard that Bob Sanders was replaced by a man named Malcolm Kelly….Mr. Glass from Unbreakable

  37. chocolatebaconbutter says: Sep 28, 2011 5:35 PM

    This is sad. I really think he had the chance to be one of the truly special players of our generation. It seems as though not only has he been robbed of that chance, but we have been as well. Best wishes Bob.

  38. clavette says: Sep 28, 2011 5:35 PM

    Sad. This guy was a beast and made football more enjoyable to watch. Sorry to see it happen to any player. Especially one with an insane amount of talent

  39. luckynumberlucas says: Sep 28, 2011 5:35 PM

    This guy just can’t catch a break.

    Bob, hang them cleats up, we all know you are a warrior, but after all its just a game and it isn’t worth it, that you can’t walk once you’re 50 and play with your kids.

  40. Broncofanatic7 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:36 PM

    I’ve seen Unbreakable before… but I didn’t know it was Bob Sanders playing Mr. Glass in it!
    Man tough break for this cat though for real…
    Never seen a guy that is always injured like he is.
    Good luck Bob!

  41. rogeliocgb says: Sep 28, 2011 5:39 PM

    With this injury the race in the west gets tighter, it looks like the Raiders will sweep the division again….

  42. jessethegreat says: Sep 28, 2011 5:40 PM

    He might not have his health, but he should retire with his money while he can still cover his health care expenses.

  43. phillyj112 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:41 PM

    This dude is made of glass. 49 games in the last 7 years……

  44. boltsup says: Sep 28, 2011 5:41 PM

    Cotton Bob.

  45. bucsballer says: Sep 28, 2011 5:44 PM

    this is a guy i feel so bad for. he had the work ethic u ask for…..but the body of glass. hope him the best. prlly the best player to not stay healthy in yrs

  46. bearsblow says: Sep 28, 2011 5:44 PM

    This guy needs to hang up the cleats period

  47. vernhh says: Sep 28, 2011 5:46 PM

    I was surprised he got the contract offer that he did. He had the heart to hit like a Mack truck but the body never could back that up.

    Please retire Mr. Sanders and cherish what health you’ll be able to recover.

  48. polishrod says: Sep 28, 2011 5:46 PM

    He should be studied for his incredible lack of durability.

    Tough as nails, but fragile as glass

  49. Nevis says: Sep 28, 2011 5:48 PM

    Sweet, I won the over/under for this year. The line 6, I said under.

  50. jdandcoke says: Sep 28, 2011 5:54 PM

    if he wants to play next year, some team will give him a shot. assuming he isnt greedy, what does a team really have to lose?

  51. mmmpieyummy says: Sep 28, 2011 5:55 PM

    Gee, how shocking. What’s this guy’s average salary…one million dollars per game? Sure hasn’t played in many games over the years…and finished maybe one complete season.

  52. 11inthebox says: Sep 28, 2011 5:58 PM

    I hear some clowns around here using words like “fragile.” Does that make you feel like “tough guys?”

    This isn’t about him being fragile. Injuries—especially the ones in Sanders career, are all about bad luck. Period.

  53. ravensfan4life52 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:59 PM

    who didn’t see this coming?

  54. kilo0986 says: Sep 28, 2011 6:00 PM

    There’s no better example of a china doll.. Unfortunately

  55. teal379 says: Sep 28, 2011 6:07 PM

    11inthebox says:
    Sep 28, 2011 5:58 PM
    I hear some clowns around here using words like “fragile.” Does that make you feel like “tough guys?”

    This isn’t about him being fragile. Injuries—especially the ones in Sanders career, are all about bad luck. Period.
    *********************************************

    Yep – you’re either lucky you’re not fragile or not. Period.

  56. fcs34 says: Sep 28, 2011 6:20 PM

    Sad to see the Colonel go out like this. The guy was a run stopping beast back in the day.

  57. war27 says: Sep 28, 2011 6:24 PM

    I have to0 laugh at all you people saying this is sad. He played a game for millions of dollars. It’s a trade most people would take in a heartbeat. I don’t feel bad for him at all.

    And they call Al Davis stupid in San Diego??? LOL.

  58. facebook.com/joesimmonscomic AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Sep 28, 2011 6:36 PM

    John Offerdahl.

  59. ny82jy says: Sep 28, 2011 6:37 PM

    Wow!! What is wrong with this guy in that he cant stay healthy for more than a few game a year. Hes gotta be done now i wouldnt want him on my team. He is one of the most fragile players ive ever seen

  60. myfinalword says: Sep 28, 2011 6:41 PM

    Tough position. Gotta hand it to John Lynch and Ronnie Lott for bringing the heat as long as they did.
    ____________________________________________________

    Don’t forget Dawkins… Still going albeit a shell of his former self.

  61. richm2256 says: Sep 28, 2011 7:01 PM

    arbiterflick says:
    Sep 28, 2011 5:23 PM
    I know most of you probably can’t wait to post a ‘funny’ comment, but try to show a little class.

    It’s the end of a career for somebody who could have been a really special player. Think about that before you hit submit.

    —————————————————————-
    BFD.

    It’s not like the guy died, for Pete’s sake.

    Sanders has been stealing paychecks for going on four seasons now. Yet ANOTHER injury, is fair game. Who are you, the PFT Humor Patrol?

    “Got a permit for that satire, buddy?”

    I don’t know how long you’ve been coming here to PFT, but humor is a staple and only dead guys are exempt.

    Except for Terry Bradshaw.

  62. richm2256 says: Sep 28, 2011 7:07 PM

    11inthebox says:
    Injuries—especially the ones in Sanders career, are all about bad luck. Period.

    —————————————————————-

    Funny how it’s always the same guys with the “bad luck”, isn’t it?

  63. pnut87 says: Sep 28, 2011 7:20 PM

    How many times has this guy been on IR?

  64. finsfrontofficeisajoke says: Sep 28, 2011 7:27 PM

    I live in Bob Sanders’ hometown of Erie, PA. You should hear the news totally trip over themselves to mention he’s from Erie every time he’s in the news.

    “And Bob Sanders – from Erie, PA – will join the Colts in the Super Bowl…”

    “Bob Sanders – from Erie, PA – is injured again…”

    You’d think he was a sure-fire HOF’er listening to the local news.

    I guess that’s what happens when a city’s biggest claim to fame is being featured in a Tom Hanks movie and having a HOF receiver (Fred Beletnikoff) come from your town, but trash it every chance he got.

  65. TheWizard says: Sep 28, 2011 7:36 PM

    Injuries—especially the ones in Sanders career, are all about bad luck

    Probably genetics. Either way, it’s something out of his control.

    He has plenty of time to get ready for another try at next season if he so desires.

  66. bleedblue18 says: Sep 28, 2011 7:41 PM

    To bad he was a hell of player when healthy. Still remember Sanders blowing up big running backs like Jerome Bettis and Cedric Benson in games early on in his career. For a little guy the dude could hit.
    In the end though his body could not the punishment, to bad.

  67. mdpickles says: Sep 28, 2011 7:50 PM

    With no knees, Sanders is better than any of the Eagles Safeties.

  68. pftareraiderhaters says: Sep 28, 2011 8:03 PM

    wow thats a shock, almost as shocking that dumbolt has nothing ever to say on a chargers post, but spews on anything raider.

  69. rajbais says: Sep 28, 2011 8:13 PM

    He was a great player at one point, but why did anyone touch him after 2010???

  70. txhc says: Sep 28, 2011 8:19 PM

    Probably time for this guy to hang them up. His body has repeatedly rejected the notion that he can be any kind of consistent player at the NFL level. Sucks too because he’s very talented. But he just can’t stay on the field, and if you can’t do that then you’re no use to anybody.

  71. tfbuckfutter says: Sep 28, 2011 8:21 PM

    It’s ok, now he has more time to work on his autobiography.

    Which I hope to someday make into a movie.

    A movie in which Samuel L. Jackson plays him.

    Alternating between a cane and a wheelchair.

    And after that, I will go on to make other, more bafflingly bad movies.

  72. txhc says: Sep 28, 2011 8:29 PM

    “pnut87 says:
    Sep 28, 2011 7:20 PM
    How many times has this guy been on IR?”

    More times than he has career games played.

  73. danospleasanton says: Sep 28, 2011 8:32 PM

    What a hell of a player WHEN healthy. Unfortunately, he is just too small to play for many years…what a shame. I can’t say I’m surprised.

  74. pacash80 says: Sep 28, 2011 8:34 PM

    Tiki is flabbergasted.

  75. FinFan68 says: Sep 28, 2011 8:45 PM

    What’s the over/under he breaks an ankle by week 3 on Dancing With the Stars next year?

  76. blackqbwhiterb says: Sep 28, 2011 8:46 PM

    Hey, if I could get him for the veteran minimum next year I would…..as a part timer, though…. Maybe the pats or someone will give him a shot….situational guy or whatever. When healthy, an impact player.

  77. radiofriendly420 says: Sep 28, 2011 8:49 PM

    Get well Mr. Bob Sanders.

    You were a hell of a player throughout your career. Sometimes, we all catch bad breaks, and you’ve certainly had your share.

    Get well soon – if you have a family, enjoy them. It might be time to retire and enjoy what you’ve earned.

    Although…as a huge football fan, I’d be sad to see you go.

  78. texmexdeux says: Sep 28, 2011 8:52 PM

    Chad Pennington’s announcing for Fox now. (He’s still in the booth, isn’t he?) Bob might want to contact him about a gig.

  79. platinumraider32 says: Sep 28, 2011 9:12 PM

    I really like Bob Sanders, but as a “hitter” he has no technique, which is why he gets hurt so much. Basically the guy uses his body as a human projectile and with that will come injuries. Their is a science to hitting and he just doesn’t know it.

    Unfortunately way too many players just “throw” their bodies at the point of contact, as opposed to hitting “through” their target. To me and it’s just my opinion, the best “technical” hitter who understood the science of it and played in the secondary was Jack Tatum. Rarely left his feet, always hit through his target and drove with his legs. Very few times did I see that guy hurt his self trying to knock a guy into next week.

    I know alot will say Ronnie Lott, but he hurt his self often with that “launching” style while not maintaining his feet.

    JMHO.

  80. vikinghater says: Sep 28, 2011 9:15 PM

    There’s always the Boy Scout Volleyball league when he’s healthy again!!

  81. backindasaddle says: Sep 28, 2011 9:29 PM

    The entire city of Indianapolis smirks……

  82. leatherface2012 says: Sep 28, 2011 9:40 PM

    i tried launching myself into my wife, but got flagged for unnecessary horn doggedness

  83. tfbuckfutter says: Sep 28, 2011 9:52 PM

    Bob Sanders career is like swiss cheese.

    And so are all his joints and tendons.

  84. bradwins says: Sep 28, 2011 9:54 PM

    Who is Josh Alper? And why does he not know how to construct a sentence?

  85. billsjetsfan says: Sep 28, 2011 9:55 PM

    I think it’s about time this guy just gave it up.

  86. knightringonow says: Sep 28, 2011 10:05 PM

    When you write, played 50 out of a possible 128 regular season games since being drafted out of Iowa. The words what might have been come to mind.”

    What you should have written would be, “played 50 out of a possible 128 regular season games since being drafted out of Iowa. The words, “what might have been” come to mind.

    Or,

    played 50 out of a possible 128 regular season games since being drafted out of Iowa. The words what-might-have-been come to mind.

    Or…oh bloody hell: why am I forced to tell YOU HOW TO WRITE?

  87. platinumraider32 says: Sep 28, 2011 10:13 PM

    leatherface2012 says: Sep 28, 2011 9:40 PM

    i tried launching myself into my wife, but got flagged for unnecessary horn doggedness

    @leatherface2012 – You are so wrong for that!!!!!LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  88. deadeye says: Sep 28, 2011 11:44 PM

    I thought he was gonna get healthy put a consecutive starts streak together that rivaled Brett’s. I’m stunned…

  89. Andre's Johnson says: Sep 28, 2011 11:45 PM

    Yeah, who the f is Josh Alper?

  90. jimboonie says: Sep 29, 2011 12:04 AM

    Glorified pile jumper

  91. freedomispopular says: Sep 29, 2011 12:12 AM

    Aren’t they still running a 3-4? How is Tommie Harris even gonna fit?

  92. eleventyeight says: Sep 29, 2011 12:42 AM

    Another tough break for Sanders.

  93. nonstory says: Sep 29, 2011 12:43 AM

    Who cares, it’s the chargers.

  94. descendency says: Sep 29, 2011 12:46 AM

    He’d still be a better safety than what the Patriots are using.

  95. jcdavey2011 says: Sep 29, 2011 2:16 AM

    tough 4 years for sanders, gotta think he should retire now

  96. Steelerz7 says: Sep 29, 2011 5:32 AM

    This guy’s a joke, always hurt. GO TROY 43 !!!!

  97. savannahrose44 says: Sep 29, 2011 6:46 AM

    Some people just can’t take the physical abuse of the NFL.

  98. apage53915 says: Sep 29, 2011 7:49 AM

    I am not a fan of the Chargers, but its sad to see his season end again, he is a guy who plays “all out” every week he was out there when healthy. I admire that and hope he gets another chance down the line.

  99. wallacejay says: Sep 29, 2011 12:17 PM

    Sanders on IR…the season has officially started!

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