The San Diego Chargers have been dropping like flies in the preseason. San Diego’s starting running back Ryan Mathews broke his clavicle against the Green Bay Packers, wide receiver Vincent Brown broke his ankle against the Dallas Cowboys and starting center Nick Hardwick suffered a concussion against Dallas.
Melvin Ingram was San Diego’s first round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Ingram left Friday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings with a left thigh bruise, but according to Dan McLellan of cbssports.com, Ingram will be ready for the regular season opener on the road against the Oakland Raiders in two weeks on Monday Night Football.
Mathews is expected to return for that game or by week three at the latest. Brown was expected to miss eight weeks when he broke his ankle, so he should be back by week six. If Brown is not back by then, he should play in week eight because the Chargers have a bye week for week seven of the 2012 NFL season.
Hardwick thought about retirement during the off-season, but re-signed with San Diego for a three year deal worth $13.5 million. Hardwick did not make the trip to Minnesota last week, but hopefully he sat out for precautionary reasons.
Jared Gaither signed a four year deal worth $24.6 million on March 14, 2012. This makes Gaither’s contract fifth among all Chargers in terms of average salary per season. The San Diego left tackle participated in one practice this off-season and left with back spasms.
Ingram’s injury is not serious and it is a good thing for San Diego that it was not because he should play a big role this season at outside linebacker on a team who was tied for 23rd in the NFL with 32 team sacks last season.