Chargers place Luis Castillo on injured reserve

AP

The Chargers are through waiting for defensive end Luis Castillo to make it back from a fractured leg.

Castillo, who was injured in the season opener, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday. The team held out hope that he would be able to make it back for the stretch run, but coach Norv Turner said that his rehab hasn’t progressed quickly enough for the team to keep holding a roster spot for him. The Chargers signed defensive lineman Damik Scafe to take his place on the roster.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune wonders whether this is the end of Castillo’s run with the Chargers. The 2005 first-round pick has three years left on a contract that he signed in 2008, but Acee points out that he’s missed time with injury and thinks the team might choose to go with younger players at the position.Castillo is due to make $3.9 million next year with a $1 million roster bonus.

Acee might have more inside information about the Chargers’ view of Castillo — although that could be rendered moot by changes to the coaching staff and/or front office in the offseason — but it is hard to see why the team would drop Castillo. He had injury issues in 2006 and 2007, but missed just three games in the last three years. A fractured leg is hardly a sign of any chronic injury risk and the team has clearly missed his production on the line this season.