When Chargers tackle Jared Gaither first developed back spasms in late July, coach Norv Turner said that his return was “day-to-day.”
Month-to-month would have been a more accurate assessment. Nearly a month has passed since the back issue first cropped up and Gaither hasn’t been able to get back on the field for the team that signed him to a four-year, $24.5 million contract. Gaither has seen multiple doctors, but didn’t share any insight into when he might be able to get back to work while speaking to reporters on Monday.
Gaither referred all questions about his health to the team’s training staff and said only that he’s not going to return until he’s 100 percent. For a player who has had his effort level questioned in the past, that answer doesn’t sound quite as good as it would from a player without them but Gaither warned against questioning his motivation to be at practice.
“It would be foolish to question any of my motivation,” Gaither said, via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I wouldn’t even pay any of those questions any attention. I wouldn’t even waste my time on answering.”
There doesn’t appear to be any issue between Gaither and the team when it comes to how the injury is being handled, although the team has to be getting itchy to start seeing some return on their investment. Undrafted rookie Mike Harris has replaced Gaither and he was beaten badly for a sack early in Saturday’s game against the Cowboys. Too much more of that and Philip Rivers might not be able to remain in the lineup, which would make the identity of the left tackle something of a moot point.