The San Diego Chargers are largely irrelevant as December begins, but that doesn’t mean that local fans still shouldn’t be entitled to watching the sorry effort that the team gives on a weekly basis. Unfortunately due to NFL blackout rules, Bolts faithful in Southern California will again have to do without the Chargers’ weekly comedy routine as the stadium will again be less than full this Sunday. At least fans can take consolation in the fact that the end is near for Head Coach Norv Turner and that may again encourage the fans to return to their seats.
At 4-7, San Diego needs a minor miracle to even sniff the postseason this year. Their week 13 opponents in the Cincinnati Bengals are still in the mix at 6-5 and are fittingly one of the teams the Bolts would have to jump to get a whiff of the playoffs. Given all of the injuries to the defense however, it will be tough for the Bolts to deal with wideout A.J. Green who has been pretty much unstoppable all season. No Atari Bigby for the rest of the year, no Darrell Stuckey this week, and while Eric Weddle will be playing, he is recovering from a vicious concussion that could limit his number of snaps.
In short, the defense is hurting for the Chargers and the pain doesn’t end there. Receiver Eddie Royal will miss yet another game with a hamstring ailment and given Robert Meachem’s near disappearance from the gameplan, it’s hard to tell where the team will turn. It’s not like the team has been lighting it up when they are completely healthy.
These injuries at receiver have forced the club to consider the return of Vincent Brown and just whether it is still within the realm of possibility this season. His broken ankle in the preseason has kept him out all year to this point, but the team kept hope alive that he might return by placing him on the injured reserve designated to return list. He has been running in practice recently and seems to be on the right track. According to Brown: “It felt really good. Just being able to cut and get around the cones. If I come back too early and it is not where it needs to be strength-wise I could risk another injury and being out another long period of time.”
That is clearly the concern for the Chargers and in the midst of a season that most would like to forget, it seems irresponsible to risk a player of his caliber at this point. Don’t expect to see Brown in action until 2013 and that will be one of the few smart things that this franchise has done in 2012.
Fans are still optimistic that the other intelligent move that will be made at season’s end is a housecleaning of sorts with both coach Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith being fired. This mess has led to alienating a fan base that really enjoys an exciting product, but when that product becomes dysfunctional, they are smart enough to realize it. Here’s to hoping that team management comes to its senses as well and gives fans the fresh start they deserve next season.
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