Jared Gaither healing “very slowly”

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The San Diego Chargers believed they’d locked up their franchise left tackle when Jared Gaither inked a four-year, $24.6 million contract in March. Instead, Gaither has been much more roster albatross than blindside protector for quarterback Philip Rivers so far this season.

Gaither missed virtually all of training camp and the first two regular season games with a back injury. Per the Union-Tribune San Diego‘s Michael Gehlken, Gaither is healing “very slowly” and will miss his third straight game when the Bolts host the Falcons in Week Three.

“I’ve got to leave it up to the training room,” Gaither told Gehlken. “It’s a tough situation. As soon as I can be back. … My ultimate goal is to be on the field with my guys.”

The 2-0 Chargers have gotten by with undrafted free agent Mike Harris protecting Rivers against the Raiders and Titans. Harris will face his toughest test to date when he takes on Falcons right defensive end John Abraham this week.