Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebacker Dwight Freeney (93) on the field after being injured during the first half against the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

What does losing Dwight Freeney mean to the Chargers

Losing a key player due to injury can be detrimental to a team’s plans. By now, Chargers fans should be aware that outside linebacker Dwight Freeney has been placed on Injured Reserve and will be out for the rest of the season. Freeney suffered a torn quad during the contest against the Dallas Cowboys and required surgery. Once Melvin Ingram tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in mid-May, Tom Telesco made the call to sign Freeney on a two-year contract and Freeney provided exactly what we signed him up for, pass rush!

The loss of Freeney opened up seats for newly promoted linebacker Thomas Keiser from the practice squad. Although a spot on the roster can be easily replaced, what can’t be replaced is the heart and soul of this veteran player. Freeney is taking with him leadership, experience and talent that cannot be replaced by just anyone. This is a key, character role player that the Chargers will be missing during a critical transition in the franchise’s history.

One has to imagine that when opposing coaches opened up their playbooks in preparing to play against the Chargers, they’d circle the name Freeney, took in a huge sigh of grief and worked feverishly in determining how to best contain him. Freeney has been a wild horse getting into the backfield and chasing after quarterbacks. Before the season started, Freeney spoke vividly about the opportunity to line up opposite to Peyton Manning and sacking his old quarterback. Unfortunately, that opportunity will have to wait at least another year.

True character, a humble player with an overflow of talent and leadership is hard to find. It’s an understatement to say that this strong willed individual will be missed on the field. Players will step up and do their best and make this mentors proud, but nothing takes the spirit of an individual football player, especially a guy like Dwight Freeney.

Next Chargers Game View full schedule »
Monday, Sep 88 Sep7:20at Arizona CardinalsBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Dwight Freeney San Diego Chargers

  • Stefanie Smith

    Jonah: So glad you wrote this article. What we sometimes forget is the leadership the vet brings. You can see the problems that the 9ers have with talented young players: discipline, outside issues, not driven by the opportunity to be in the NFL. They have so many problems. Vets can bring them down to earth.

    Aldon Smith – talented but if he doesn’t fix whatever his problem is, he will eventually lose his NFL opportunity.

    P.S. Dwight Freeney’s spin move had the rookies/newcomers mesmerized. They liked him–maybe like a big brother. We are going to miss that a LOT.

    • Nick in PB

      Well written Stefanie. Younger players, young people in general, take enormous risks because they don’t even consider the consequences. It’s all about maturity. Some realize that football is going to be their life and treat it accordingly. Others are just immature people with big money, fame and unfortunately, a sense of entitlement. Veterans are the ones that usually have the voice of reason. I’m sure many of the veterans on the 49er team tried reaching out to Aldon with little or no success. I think the Chargers have a bunch of younger guys that are on the right track. They seem hungry and humble and prepared for the life of football. Freeney is a player they can all look up to and he wants to be that type of leader. It’s really a shame we lost him for the season.

  • phobos57

    It means the defense sucks more than it did before he got hurt.