The San Diego Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither made headlines after Sunday game against the New Orleans Saints. He was on the practice field with his team but did not practice Thursday as he was suffering from a groin strain.
Gaither, suffered the injury on Sunday’s game against the Saints on almost the last play of the game, but he continued to play through the injury, even if it stopped him from playing at his full potential.
Nobody on the Chargers sideline had any idea that Gaither was injured and did not pull him from the game and he finished the game trying to attempt to get all the pieces together for a potential game tying touchdown drive.
Head Coach Norv Turner spoke about the incident in his conference with the media and one question was geared towards getting an answer in regards to nobody on the sideline knowing he was injured and procedures regarding identifying injured players.
“We’re trying to stay on top of that. In that case the player just has to let you know. If he can’t go, and some of these guys think that they can, they have to help us by letting us know.”
The thing is if Gaither had gotten off the field and told the coaching staff and or medical personnel that he was injured, maybe Saints defensive end Martez Wilson would not have beat his replacement like he was able to do with Gaither and being able to pressure quarterback Philip Rivers to force an errant incomplete pass. If being able to beat you once is not bad again Wilson, would return and this time being able to sack Rivers and cause a fumble that set the Saints win in stone. It is being said that television announcer Cris Collinsworth spotted the injured Gaither first and Coach Turner added.
“I heard that Cris Collinsworth said that, but he was looking down from up above. In the third to last play he (Gaither) strained his groin a little bit and I would rather have him come out in that situation. He got back in the huddle. Obviously there was no way that you could see it. I think that Cris [Collinsworth] saw it on the next play where Philip [Rivers] had to throw the ball away and the next play was a sack. You would like Jared to come out of the game and we could have put [Mike] Harris in. It would have helped us. I think that Jared is trying to fight through it and he felt that he could play. It wasn’t brought to my attention.”
Gaither, signed with the Chargers last year and was made the starting left tackle. He would return against the Kansas City Chiefs despite only having one full practice in two months after suffering a back injury.
“He’s sore, but it’s (groin) not torn. We’ll see where he is as we go through the week. I think that he has a chance to practice and to play.” Coach Turner said in regards to his progress and if he will play.