|Vincent Brown's injury, suffered on a touchdown catch, is a big blow for the Chargers. (US Presswire)|
SAN DIEGO -- Preseason games are supposed to be meaningless, but tell that to the San Diego Chargers. They just lost wide receiver Vincent Brown with a broken left ankle, a severe injury that will subtract him indefinitely.
Coach Norv Turner reserved comment on the severity of Brown's injury, waiting on evaluations that are expected to be made the next couple of days, but suffice it to say that it's a blow to a team that missed the playoffs the past two seasons.
"You go through a 16-game season, and you're going to have adversity," said Turner. "I think we're equipped to handle what comes our way."
Brown was injured when his left foot got caught under a tackler after he made an 18-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. It was the Chargers' first touchdown and the beginning of a second-half comeback that saw them go from a 10-0 halftime deficit to a 28-20 victory.
But the victory was costly. Brown was one of this summer's standouts, with persons close to the Bolts saying that he was the top receiver in practices and San Diego's first game. With him sidelined, the Chargers will turn to wide receivers like Eddie Royal, who is close to returning from a groin injury; Roscoe Parrish, Micheal Spurlock and Richard Goodman, also recovering from injury.
"I think we have good depth there and exciting players," said Turner.
They do have depth, but the loss of Brown is a blow. The Chargers have been through setbacks like this before -- with quarterback Philip Rivers having to throw to 17 different receivers in an injury-plagued 2010 -- but you never want to lose an emerging star like Brown in a game that doesn't count.
The Chargers will regroup because they must, but the loss of Brown is significant.
"Obviously," said quarterback Philip Rivers, "he was going to be a big part of what we do."