Blog Entry

Chargers place Kris Dielman on injured reserve

Posted on: November 16, 2011 5:48 pm
 
After suffering a concussion against the Jets on Oct. 23, Dielman lands on IR. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Chargers placed left guard Kris Dielman on injured reserve Wednesday, three weeks after he suffered a concussion during an October 23 game against the Jets. The move means no relief for a beleaguered San Diego offensive line -- or quarterback Philip Rivers -- and it also snaps Dielman's streak of four straight Pro Bowl appearances.

Concussions are a weekly occurrence in the NFL, but Dielman's injury drew the league's attention because he suffered a grand mal seizure on the team flight back to San Diego. He sustained the concussion early in the fourth quarter. It went undiagnosed at the time, though Dielman clearly struggled to maintain his balance after the collison with the Jets Calvin Pace.

The Chargers came under scrutiny for how they handled the injury, but head coach Norv Turner believed that "Everything was handled extremely well."

"All the proper precautions were taken. Kris was evaluated when we landed and all the tests were excellent. We're fortunate, he's fortunate and we're moving on," Turner said at the time

He added that nothing seemed out of the ordinary at the time because players routinely take hard hits during the course of a game.

"Guys get bounced around pretty good. It's tough to see everybody from the sideline, or even from upstairs or a TV screen what a guy's condition is," said Turner. "Our guys understand that if they aren't able to go, they need to get out. I think it was handled the way we'd try to understand any injury situation."

Dielman's case led the NFL to instruct its officials to actively look for concussion-like symptoms during games.

"I've looked at the play at least a hundred times," NFLPA medical director Dr. Thomas Mayer said earlier this month. "And not only does the broadcast footage provide a clear visual record, you can hear the collision loud and clear on the audio. It really was an unfortunate event, but this is a process and an opportunity to further strengthen our protocol. There are a lot of lessons to be learned here. ...

"You can see on the video when Dielman wobbles backwards that the umpire (Tony Michalek) is concerned and the referee (Ron Winter) notices something, too," Mayer continued. "Dielman waved off the umpire. I know he's one tough dude, but this is what we're trying to avoid. We can educate the officials to treat this like a significant injury, stop time and call for medical attention. When Dielman continued to play in the game, he was subject to further collisions by the nature of the sport and his position."

More bad news for the Chargers: left tackle Marcus McNeill, who suffered a neck injury during the Week 10 loss to the Raiders, saw a specialist Monday, and right guard Louis Vasquez was seen in a walking boot that same day. Rivers has had enough issues with consistency this season without additional concerns about his pass protection.

San Diego will face Chicago on Sunday, and given how the Bears treated Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford last week, Rivers has legitimate reason for alarm.

In related news (via Chargers.com): San Diego added guard/tackle Tony Moll on Tuesday and rookie guard-tackle Stephen Schilling also remains on the roster.

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