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Apparently, the injury bug decided to show up a little earlier than usual this year. Five Chargers did not play in Week 2—Ryan Mathews (clavicle), Antonio Gates (ribs), Antonio Garay (ankle), Jared Gaither (back), Shareece Wright (foot).
Because of the buzz surrounding Mathews' injury, it was easy to forget about the other big injuries on this team.
Antonio Gates' rib injury in Week 1 didn't seem serious, yet it prevented him from taking the field against the Titans. I'd like to think he'll be ready to go next week, but rib injuries are a tricky issue in the NFL. Just look at Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick. His history of rib injuries have caused him to miss multiple games in the past.
Both Antonio Garay and Jared Gaither haven't even started the season because of their respective injuries suffered in training camp. Garay was slated to play a vital role on San Diego's defensive line this season, and Gaither is supposed to be the guy protecting Philip Rivers' blind side.
Thankfully, the younger guys have been able to step in and do an admirable job. Shareece Wright was the reserve defensive back who had a big game against Dallas in the preseason, but a foot injury caused him to miss Week 2 as well, thus delaying his progress in the secondary.
You could look at these injures one of two ways. If you're an optimistic thinker, you'll be glad these injuries occurred early so that these guys can last in the long run. On the other hand, what does this say about the durability of these guys? It's only Week 3, and the Chargers have already been without their starting left tackle, starting running back, starting tight end and starting defensive lineman.