Aug 112012

This is not what you want to see. Jared Gaither, who missed all of the 2010 season and most of the 2011 season with back problems, is currently suffering from back spasms and has missed the majority of Training Camp so far and is expected to be held out until late August. While they’re probably just holding him out for precautionary reasons, it’s definitely not a good thing.

Gaither was amazing in 5 starts last season for the Chargers, after being cut midseason by the Chiefs. He didn’t allow a sack or quarterback hit and only allowed 3 quarterback pressures, while committing just 3 penalties. The Chargers rewarded him with a 4 year, 24.6 million dollar deal with 13.5 million guaranteed this offseason.

That seems like a lot to give a guy after 5 games, but when healthy, Gaither is an elite left tackle and those guys don’t grow on trees. With the Ravens, in 2009, he allowed just 4 sacks, 3 quarterback hits, and 6 quarterback pressures, while committing 10 penalties in 13 games and in 2008, he allowed just 2 sacks, 2 quarterback hits, and 22 quarterback pressures, while committing 15 penalties in 19 games.

The Chargers desperately need him to be healthy because they have no depth at the position. Their 2nd string left tackle is Mike Harris, an undrafted rookie free agent. Their only veteran depth at the position is Brandyn Dombrowski, who was horrible last season, making 4 starts. He allowed 6 sacks, 3 quarterback hits, and 17 quarterback pressures, including 4 sacks, a hit, and 9 quarterback pressures in one game against Oakland. Somewhere, Kamerion Wimbley is still blowing past him and driving Philip Rivers into the dirt. On a line that already figures to get subpar play at the left guard and right tackle position, they can’t afford to get subpar play at the left tackle position.

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