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Offseason Question: Can The Chargers Stay Healthy?

Marcus McNeill was one of the many injury victims. Also seen here are the team doctor, David Chao, and head trainer, James Collins. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Marcus McNeill was one of the many injury victims. Also seen here are the team doctor, David Chao, and head trainer, James Collins. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Let's start to discuss this question by taking a look at the injury issues the Chargers dealt with in 2011:

  • Nate Kaeding was lost on the opening kickoff with a torn ACL.
  • Luis Castillo broke his leg in the opener and ended up missing the entire season.
  • Bob Sanders suffered a season ending knee injury.
  • Ryan Mathews missed 2 games, couldn't start another and had to come out of some games because of a thumb injury and calf and groin issues.
  • Antonio Gates missed 3 games with his foot issues.
  • Mike Tolbert had to miss a game with a calf injury.
  • Malcom Floyd missed 4 games and wasn't able to start in 3 more mainly with a hip injury.
  • Antwan Barnes missed a game.
  • Takeo Spikes had to play through a concussion.
  • Eric Weddle had to play a reserve role in one game due to injury.
  • Shaun Phillips missed 4 games with a foot injury and had back problems.
  • Kris Dielman's season and career ended after 6 games with an undiagnosed concussion.
  • Louis Vasquez sat out 2 games with an ankle injury.
  • Jonas Mouton suffered a preseason shoulder injury that caused him to miss the season.
  • Stephen Cooper got in 5 games before heading to injured reserve.
  • Vincent Brown had lingering hamstring issues that certainly cost him practice time and maybe some game time.
  • Larry English had a foot injury that kept him from being 100% and eventually landed him on IR.
  • Jacques Cesaire missed some games with a knee injury.
  • Quentin Jammer missed a game with a hamstring injury.
  • Corey Liuget missed a game with an ankle sprain.
  • Steve Gregory missed a game with a thigh injury.
  • Travis LaBoy missed 2 games with a knee injury.
  • Patrick Crayton miss a couple of games with an ankle injury.
  • Brandyn Dombrowski missed time with a foot injury.
  • Tyronne Green missed some key games with hand issue.
  • Scott Mruczkowski had a concussion end his season early.
  • Vincent Jackson had to fight through a groin injury.
  • Marcus Gilchrist suffered a hamstring injury.
  • Antonio Garay had a hip injury.
  • Darrell Stuckey had a thigh injury.
  • Marcus McNeill had his season end early with a neck injury.
  • Na'il Diggs had a chest injury.
  • Curtis Brinkley suffered a concussion.

And I can't even be sure that is a comprehensive list. It's just the ones I can gather from looking at games played and perusing a few of last season's lengthy injury reports.

There's not anything specific to point to as the cause of all these injuries. Although, of course, football is a collision sport and injuries will happen no matter how hard you try to prevent them. Also, some of these players have a history of being injury prone. There are also concerns about team doctor David Chao and the training staff. That being said, much of this won't change in 2012. A lot of those same players return, playing football will still cause injuries and the team doctors and training staff aren't going anywhere in the short term. So, what we're left with is speculation. Was it bad luck that the injuries happened? Was their a root cause? And more importantly for the 2012 season: Can the team have some new found good luck and ride that to a successful season?