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Chargers’ medical staff doubted Gaither’s claims about back pain

Eddie Royal,  Jared Gaither AP

The Chargers dumped offensive tackle Jared Gaither this week after a 2012 season in which he made $9 million while playing only four games and was plagued by injuries. Although some in San Diego doubt that Gaither was actually hurt as badly as he claimed he was.

Sources inside the Chargers’ facility told Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego that while Gaither was missing time with back spasms, the Chargers’ medical staff doubted the severity of Gaither’s injury.

Gaither was struggling to stay on the field from the first practice of training camp, which he left with cramps. On the third day of training camp he complained of back spasms and didn’t practice or play again for two months after that.

Of course, it’s impossible for anyone else to get inside Gaither’s body and say whether he really was having the kind of severe back pain that made it impossible to play, whether he was having the kind of minor aches and pains that NFL players just have to toughen up and play through, or whether he was just using “back pain” as a convenient excuse to get out of doing any work for the $9 million the Chargers were paying him. The Chargers’ medical staff is already under fire from the NFL Players Association, and putting out word that they doubt a player who says he’s hurt will do nothing to change that.

For Gaither, a reputation for lacking toughness won’t help him catch on elsewhere. He’s now a free agent, and starting left tackles usually do well in free agency. But players who have been accused of faking injuries to get out of practice don’t do well anywhere in the NFL.

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39 Responses to “Chargers’ medical staff doubted Gaither’s claims about back pain”
  1. nflintheuk says: Mar 28, 2013 6:48 AM

    Sign him up to an incentivised one year deal and I’m confident his back will feel good again

  2. ravenscallywag says: Mar 28, 2013 6:53 AM

    This is the same stuff he pulled with the Ravens before we let him walk. That two teams now have seen him go down with “phantom injuries” should put HUGE red flags on this guy. Maybe he plays well on short term deals, but you can’t trust this guy long term. Period.

  3. bunkslurpscrabmustard says: Mar 28, 2013 7:03 AM

    Dude’s a let down to Terps nation, he could have learned something about toughness from Vernon Davis but Vernon was too busy breaking every lifting record at Maryland.

  4. dcapettini says: Mar 28, 2013 7:11 AM

    This guy let everybody down at Maryland. He pulled this “back spasm” stuff on the Ravens when it looked like he might have to play right tackle instead of left. I guess he felt that he would be worth more as a free agent left tackle who was injured, than a right tackle. He let them down in KC and now SD. You would have to have rocks in your head to have him on your 53 man roster.

  5. checkdownchatter says: Mar 28, 2013 7:21 AM

    The same docs that thought Dielman was over exaggerating a concision right?

  6. ravioles says: Mar 28, 2013 7:31 AM

    I am sad to admit that two of my least favorite Ravens of all time were former Terps: Jared Gaither and Dominque Foxworth. Can’t root for people who lack toughness.

  7. kdub79 says: Mar 28, 2013 7:46 AM

    Is he friends with Shawn Andrews?

  8. blackbug99 says: Mar 28, 2013 8:00 AM

    Then again, back pain is something you can’t see. I had a nerve impinged and it hurt like hell….then again I didn’t get 9 million! Just went on my Navy cruise making the Military Standard.

  9. tsuscrumhalf says: Mar 28, 2013 8:02 AM

    On a vet minimum contract with playing time incentives, he could be a top 5 LT. But, he just doesn’t want it. $100 Million talent, $.02 head. I’m being generous w/the $.02.

  10. tjjohnson98 says: Mar 28, 2013 8:07 AM

    Nobody should ever give this guy guaranteed money again, that’s for sure. $1 for the season and a $75k bonus for each game he starts, $75k more if he actually finishes the game. $2.4m is a good deal for the good Jared Gaither. He plays well when there is a payday involved. Funny how that works.

  11. boltdaddy says: Mar 28, 2013 8:15 AM

    He’s too lazy and too wealthy to seek employment in the NFL, gm aj smith took care of his boy for life pursuant to saving his own bacon and we saw how well that worked out for him. JG is not interested in work and he has our money he’s no longer relevenat to the NFL

  12. logicailvoicesays says: Mar 28, 2013 8:21 AM

    Nothing like this ever happens to the Redskins. That’s another reason why the Redskins are the best franchise in the NFL history. Players for the Redskins want to play hard. Team doctors and trainers are the best in the league. Expect nothing but more Super Bowls from the Redskins. HTTR.

  13. pkrjones says: Mar 28, 2013 8:36 AM

    Welcome to your post-career, Jared. Hope you banked most of your $9Million robbery so we don’t have to read about your pathetic “I’m broke” sob-story in 3 years.

  14. jiggy3198 says: Mar 28, 2013 8:41 AM

    Proves what a great organization the ravens are. They saw right through him and let him walk despite complaints from fans. Everybody trust in the ravens for they know no wrong!!!!!

  15. jiggy3198 says: Mar 28, 2013 8:41 AM

    Proves what a great organization the ravens are. They saw right through him and let him walk despite complaints from fans. Everybody trust in the ravens for they know no wrong!!!!!

  16. jiggy3198 says: Mar 28, 2013 8:41 AM

    Proves what a great organization the ravens are. They saw right through him and let him walk despite complaints from fans. Everybody trust in the ravens for they know no wrong!!!!!

  17. uncletuna says: Mar 28, 2013 8:42 AM

    That’s why you should have practice, play, performance-based contracts…

    When most people don’t show up or perform at work – they don’t get paid…

  18. fatalfact says: Mar 28, 2013 8:53 AM

    As somebody who suffers from back spasms daily I can tell you they are often sporadic in nature. I can also tell you that people tire out of hearing you complain about your back. Nobody will understand back pain like those who suffer through it. Once you do you will not be so quick to ignore…

  19. skoobyfl says: Mar 28, 2013 8:55 AM

    He’s one more 2 year contract away from the all you can eat buffet for life.

  20. trojanwarrior007 says: Mar 28, 2013 8:56 AM

    2.25 mill per game? I’d have back spasms too.

  21. FinFan68 says: Mar 28, 2013 8:59 AM

    It has nothing to do with toughness. He is a slacker that wants to do as little as possible. We have all worked with someone like that. He’s just the NFL version.

  22. rr2000k says: Mar 28, 2013 9:12 AM

    Ravens fans could have told them that!

  23. buffalobills2012 says: Mar 28, 2013 9:19 AM

    Jared needs to pick up Dr Sarnos Healing Back Pain book then the Mind Body Perscription.

  24. ravenmuscle says: Mar 28, 2013 9:31 AM

    Was known as the Laziest player at the University of Maryland when he was there…proved it again with the Ravens and his phantom back injuries….but always seemed to find another sucker team to pay him millions….what a con artist.

    But I’ll bet he wasn’t dumb as Vince Young or Vick or Culpepper to blow all his money..He should be set for life.

  25. icanspeel says: Mar 28, 2013 9:36 AM

    He got his payday from the Chargers, probably doesn’t need to play anymore and can get back massages all day

  26. scoobies05 says: Mar 28, 2013 9:41 AM

    what super bowls logicalvoice? its no longer 1994

  27. jbaxt says: Mar 28, 2013 9:42 AM

    Wait, Todd Haley kicks the guy off the team for being a liability/sissy and Todd’s an idiot? Now this whine bag get called out by SD medical staff and now Gaithers to blame? I guess we’ll see a post shortly apologizing to Haley…

  28. overratedsteelerhater says: Mar 28, 2013 10:26 AM

    never happened to skins how about your
    biggest bust ever ALBERT HAYNESWORTH
    get real with all this skins talk!!!!!

  29. geniusesq says: Mar 28, 2013 10:33 AM

    Tie his checks to performance and voila! I’m healed! Back feels fine now!

  30. yukon672010 says: Mar 28, 2013 10:48 AM

    Nothing like this ever happens to the Redskins. That’s another reason why the Redskins are the best franchise in the NFL history. Players for the Redskins want to play hard. Team doctors and trainers are the best in the league. Expect nothing but more Super Bowls from the Redskins. HTTR.

    I cant stop laughing…..

  31. everyfootballfan says: Mar 28, 2013 11:42 AM

    logicailvoicesays : How soon we forget, do these people ring a bell Adam Archuleta, Washington Redskins (2006), Albert Haynesworth, Washington Redskins (2009), Dana Stubblefield, Washington Redskins (1998), each was a failure just like your redskins, hmmmmm either you we born after 2009 or you have CRS…I believe the latter.

  32. mrgroovesd says: Mar 28, 2013 11:43 AM

    This guy was a waste of space and time. They should’ve seen the writing on the wall from the Ravens and KC. AJ Spliff was dumb to give him a contract that was not incentive based but thank god he is gone!

  33. si1m says: Mar 28, 2013 11:51 AM

    how is it the chargers didn’t pay attention to the ravens doing the exact same thing to him in 2010?

  34. briang123 says: Mar 28, 2013 12:01 PM

    Shawn Andrews believes Gaithers fully.

  35. gooboy6 says: Mar 28, 2013 1:04 PM

    All of you haters out there need to know that back pain is a strange thing. Until you have had it, you have no idea what you are talking about. I used to look ” down ” on people who said they had a bad back until I ruptured a disc. your back can feel great one minute and the next you need to be laying flat on your back. it took YEARS to feel normal again. Tough deal.

    Now the football side- GM makes horrible deal, puts pressure on doctors looking for scapegoat, they mouth off to cover their rear ends because they are the ones who signed off on this guy before Chargers gave him $24 M. Bunch of finger pointing. Gaither needs to retire or take a full year off at least.

  36. captainwisdom8888 says: Mar 28, 2013 1:15 PM

    It sounds to me like Gaither came into the NFL harboring an injury that he wasn’t exactly truthful about. He’s a very large man, and his weight-bearing joints have a lot of work to do. Your back is one big pulley-system, and when a spasm occurs, that’s just your body sending chemical signals to that painful area in an effort to “shut it down.” When there’s a kink in the pulley system, the whole system is thrown off and it’s only a matter of time until other parts of your body try to make up for that malfunction (overcompensation).

    The problem doesn’t lie with Gaither’s pain tolerance or lack of toughness, the guy never should have been medically cleared to be employed by an NFL team.

  37. realfootballfan says: Mar 28, 2013 1:35 PM

    You mean that crackpot doctor that they employ who was handing out pain killers to players like Skittles amongst other shady practices that had the NFLPA asking that he be removed?

  38. trevor123698 says: Mar 28, 2013 3:33 PM

    Are you people seriously doubting his claims? Do you have any idea how easy it is to develop back problems. I got on a vegetarian diet and mine eroded away in literally 6 months to the point I couldnt play anything without pain afterwards and a sore back to deal with for days. I didnt ever let mine get that bad before I learned that I can repair it will a strong LIQUID calcium supplement (only 1 on the market, youngevity), but if I had I would have had to quit playing sports.

  39. 757ravensfan says: Mar 29, 2013 8:55 AM

    Nothing like this ever happens to the Redskins. That’s another reason why the Redskins are the best franchise in the NFL history. Players for the Redskins want to play hard. Team doctors and trainers are the best in the league. Expect nothing but more Super Bowls from the Redskins. HTTR.

    ============================

    Albert Haynesworth says you’re a liar!!

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