Aug 21, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick (61) in action in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

How worried should we be about Nick Hardwick?

Despite what some novice (ignorant is more like it) fans “think,” practicing against another team in the preseason is extremely beneficial. I’ll expound upon that in a later article.

After hearing that Nick Hardwick sustained a concussion in the second joint-practice against the Cowboys, I gave zero thought to the fact that Dallas was even involved. Immediately my mind went straight to the early offseason.

Hardwick made it a point to say early on in the offseason that he was considering retirement. He was weighing his post-career options and trying to figure out if returning to the NFL was in the best interest of his family.

I’ve made my opinion clear that he was my favorite free-agent signing (or re-signing) of the offseason. Knowing the close relationship that he has with former All-Pro Kris Dielman, I was truly concerned that he might retire.

To see such a dominant player, Dielman, retire early was sure to have an affect on Hardwick’s decision to return to the game. It has been proven that they are very close friends. I can’t imagine that they didn’t speak about this decision ad nauseum.

Despite the unfortunate, yet understandable, retirement of Dielman, Nick chose to continue his career and was re-signed by our Bolts. Hardwick is the “quarterback” of the offensive line. He is constantly barking out calls and informing all other linemates on who to pick up and where to follow through with the blocking scheme on each and every play.

Hardwick and Rivers have a bond that every QB/Center combo has with the exception that the duo has worked together for eight years now. Rivers has stated emphatically that bringing back his center was paramount in keeping this offense churning towards that one common goal.

Without knowing the severity of the concussion, one can only sit back and hope to hear a diagnosis of day-to-day while hoping a return is scheduled no later than week one of the regular season.

For the sake of his health, and his family, I truly hope that he is on the way to a fast and successful recovery. I’d be remissed if I didn’t add that his importance on this team is at a level that it has never been before this year. Of course, he has always been an integral part of this team, but we need him now more than in years past. The offensive line seems to be the one big question mark leading into the 2012 season.

Only time will tell. The lack of confidence in the backup o-line led to the starting of Charlie Whitehurst in the third preseason game of the offseason against Minnesota. Personally I applaud the decision made by Norv Turner to sit Rivers. Having watched the game three times now, I couldn’t be happier that he made that choice.

Hardwick is a throwback player. I feel that he is in the minority amongst most modern day players in that he could have played in any era and been very successful. Let’s hope that his oldschool style isn’t to the detriment of his health and well-being. Godspeed in your recovery Nick.

Thanks a lot for reading.





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Tags: Nick Hardwick

  • MC Boltman

    Man, damn don’t wanna think bout a Hardwick retirement. But considering all facts: his retirement thoughts early in yhe offseason & this concusion…it could make sense for him…hope he’ll have a speedy recovery & hope his passion for the game is stringer than his ‘other’ thoughts

  • @BOLTSFAN1972

    Was that a BoogaP siteing OMG!!!
    Yeah I’m a little concerned about Hardwick retiring now and telling them keep the money!!!

  • Mike

    Practicing in the preseason for first teamers is suicide. if the preseason would be cut to 2 games and the last two quarters teams had to use their 1st team to get the speed down that would be fine. preseason is to see if you can make the team. These are pros, they shouldn’t need to play games that don’t count. I’ve said it alot before, These free agents and draftees are running high on adriniline and even steroids in some cases just to make a team. Our 1st teamers are ought there trying to get their rythem down, that’s a recipe for injurys. Guys are going to want to show their coaches anything to get noticed. We’ve lost alot of talent to start the season, and for what. This is poor management at best.

  • Mike

    Let me include I might be ignorant if that’s what you’d like to think, yet year after year guys on all teams get injured in the preseason. if you don’t think that these players minds are on game 1 of the regular season then your oppinion stands. But the only ones whose heads are really in the game are the ones trying to make the team. It’s just bad to have teams mixing players that are trying to make a team with those that are ready for the first game. Injurys can easily happen when a player isn’t playing at 100%. Your belief is there’s no difference between a preseason game and a real game. Good luck selling that to all of us novices Mr. Pro Sports. There’s a speed that players play in preseason games and thens there’s one when the season is on the line. you mix those and injurys are alot more likely. This is in any competitive situation.