San Diego Chargers, Concussions and a Real Pain in the Neck: Fan’s Perspective

This season the San Diego Chargers have been hit with numerous injuries. Of those injuries, concussions seem to really be taking their toll. So far five players have received concussions and of those five, two players have been placed on injured reserve and are out for the season.

While concussions are not uncommon in the NFL, the Chargers are getting more than their fair share this season. Out of the last six games the Chargers have played, they have lost one player to a concussion in every game except the November 6th game against the Green Bay Packers.

Mike Tolbert(notes)

The first out with a concussion was RB Mike Tolbert. He went out during the October 9th game against the Denver Broncos. He missed two weeks before being cleared to play against the New York Jets on Sunday, October 23rd.

Kris Dielman(notes)

While Mike Tolbert came back for the game against the Jets, the Chargers lost another key player during this game. Kris Dielman suffered a concussion during the final quarter of the game but continued to play. He was not diagnosed until after the end of the game but was cleared for the flight home. Unfortunately, before the plane landed, Dielman suffered a grand mal seizure. He was placed on the injured reserve list on November 16th. Dielman's concussion and the fact he continued to play after an obvious injury prompted the NFL to educate refs to identify concussions and remove players they think have been injured.

Curtis Brinkley(notes)

Curtis Brinkley suffered a concussion during the Monday night game on Halloween against the Kansas City Chiefs. Luckily his concussion healed quickly and, even with a short week, he was cleared to play against the Green Bay Packers on November 6th.

Takeo Spikes(notes)

LB Takeo Spikes went down during the second quarter of the Thursday night game on November 10th against the Oakland Raiders and did not return to the game. He was later diagnosed with a concussion. Like Brinkley, his was short lived and he was cleared to return to practice on the following Wednesday.

Scott Mruczkowski(notes)

Guard Scott Mruczkowski left the November 20th games against the Chicago Bears. He was filling in for Kris Dielman. Unfortunately, his concussion must have been a little bit more serious as the Chargers placed him on the injured reserve on November 23rd.

While concussions are not the only cause for current injuries with the Chargers, they are responsible for ending the season of two players. With only six games left in the regular season, let's hope the string of head injuries is over.

Deborah Braconnier is a former athlete and 20 year medical professional. Born in San Diego, she has grown up watching the San Diego Chargers despite being a fan of the Broncos. Working now as a freelance writer, she brings her love for both sports and the medical field together in her writing.

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Updated Friday, Nov 25, 2011