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Chargers without starting OT Gaither

The SportsXchange

San Diego Chargers starting offensive tackle Jared Gaither will not play in the team's season opener against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 9, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Sunday.

Gaither has not played or practice since having back spasms in late July. He had signed a four-year, $24.5 million contract that guarantees him $9 million.

"I don't know if there's been a setback," coach Norv Turner said Saturday. "He hasn't made any progress. That's for sure."

Undrafted rookie Mike Harris will start in Gaither's place.

"It's a very disappointing situation we have been dealing with the entire training camp," general manager A.J. Smith said. "Jared is hurt and not available to us. The clock struck midnight for him after our last preseason game, and we are moving on with Mike Harris."

The Chargers do not have a lot of depth on their offensive line after releasing two tackles and are without Brandyn Dombrowski for six weeks with a cyst on his foot.

Gaither also missed the entire 2010 season with back problems when he was a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
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