Jared Gaither Needs to Get on the Field Soon, and Other AFC West News

Christopher HansenNFL AnalystSeptember 21, 2012

Dec 5, 2011; Jacksonville, FL, USA; San Diego Chargers tackle Jared Gaither (78) during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. The Chargers defeated the Jaguars 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

San Diego Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither hasn't been on the field since the first couple of days of training camp and if he doesn't get on the field soon, he risks being shutdown by the team permanently.

Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego thinks Gaither's time is running out—not just on his 2012 season, but on his time in San Diego. 

Acee makes solid points about how San Diego general manager A.J. Smith has operated in the past and how mystified the Chargers are about Gaither's injury. 

Many believe Gaither saved head coach Norv Turner and Smith from losing their jobs last season. The Chargers surged late in the year to finish 8-8 with Gaither protecting quarterback Philip Rivers' blind side.

It's a 'what-have-you done-for-me-lately' league and undrafted rookie Mike Harris has taken over the starting job, performing well enough to make Gaither a luxury and not a necessity.

Because Gaither is obviously talented, and the Chargers are on the hook for a lot of money in 2012, the team could continue to wait on him. But they could just as easily pull the plug on his season and perhaps his time in San Diego.

Other AFC West News:


San Diego

Scott Kaplan of U-T San Diego says San Diego's ticket policy is confusing and could be contributing to local television blackouts. 





Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times details Carson Palmer's familiarity with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle puts the zone-blocking scheme on trial for the murder of Darren McFadden


Kansas City

Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star reports that head coach Romeo Crennel says the defense in Kansas City is communicating better, while Teicher's colleague Randy Covtiz   details the difficulties of interim head coaches.



Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post says Peyton Manning is leading with preparation, play and accountability.

Mike Klis, also of the Denver Post, says the first three games on the Broncos schedule look more like playoff games than regular season games.