Chargers aren't worried about left tackle position

Defensive lineman Kamerion Wimbley #96 of the Oakland Raiders sacks quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers

Last season, the Raiders split the season series with the Chargers. They beat up the Chargers in the first game with starting left tackle Marcus McNeil out of the lineup. Kamerion Wimbley got four sacks on Phillip Rivers in that game.

Things turned around for the Chargers when they faced the Raider in the final game of the season. The Raiders couldn't get any pressure on Rivers in that game thanks to their having picked up left tackle Jared Gaither midseason.

Gaither did a tour of the AFC West last season. He had worked out for the Raiders and left without a contract. The Chiefs signed him briefly and cut him. Then the Chargers signed him and he played solid left tackle for them to finish out the season.

He has always been seen as a talent but he missed the 2010 season and was cut by the Ravens due to back issues. Now those back issues have returned and what was seen as a non-issue for the Chargers has become a serious issue-they are starting an undrafted rookie at left tackle.

But if you ask them, they don't see it as a big deal.

"Well, Jared's a great player and we certainly want him out there with us," said Philip Rivers. "I think the fact that we've had over a month without him in there... the injuries that we've suffered have been very unfortunate with Jared, with Ryan Mathews, with Vincent Brown, but they happened early so we've had time to prepare for that, the guys that are stepping up have had time to practice and get ready to go so it's not as if it just happened on a game week of week one. We now have put together a month with the same group that will take the field on Monday night."

The undrafted free agent replacing Gaither and starting week one is Mike Harris. He is out of UCLA so he didn't exactly come out of nowhere. Which makes it all the more mysterious how he fell through the cracks in the draft. But again, the Chargers aren't worried. Norv Turner really likes the guy.

"He's a very mature guy," said Turner. "He came in here with not great expectations. You sign as a college a free agent and he impressed us from the beginning. You'd like him to be in a position where he's learning and waiting his turn but he's a doing a good job preparing to play."

They liked Harris so much they cut former Raiders starting left tackle Mario Henderson in favor of him.

Harris will have his hands full Monday night. The Raiders didn't have Matt Shaughnessy in the lineup in either of their games last season. He is considered the Raiders' best pass rusher. Wimbley was a pass rushing linebacker but he had his four sacks without Shaughnessy to help take on blockers.

This will be a trial by fire for this undrafted rookie. We'll see how worried the Chargers are after Monday night.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Silver And Black Pride

You must be a member of Silver And Black Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver And Black Pride. You should read them.

Join Silver And Black Pride

You must be a member of Silver And Black Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver And Black Pride. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker