We still don’t know when or if Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither is going to return to the field after suffering what were called back spasms more than a month ago.
We do know that he won’t be making his return in Week One against the Raiders. The Chargers announced Saturday that Gaither will miss the season opener and that undrafted rookie Mike Harris will be protecting quarterback Philip Rivers’ blind side. Coach Norv Turner declined to say that Gaither had a setback, but did say that he hasn’t made any progress since his original injury.
“It’s a very disappointing situation we have been dealing with the entire training camp. Jared is hurt and not available to us. The clock struck midnight for him after our last preseason game, and we are moving on with Mike Harris,” General Manager A.J. Smith said, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Mike will get the first opportunity to hold down our left tackle position. He is a talented kid with a bunch of ability. He is excited about this opportunity, and we are all excited for him.”
The injuries to Gaither and running back Ryan Mathews leaves the Chargers with a less potent offense than they hoped to have coming out of the gate. Mathews is set to return soon, but the Chargers’ chances of rebounding from last season will take a serious blow if Harris can’t handle left tackle during what we have to assume at this point is an extended engagement.