Hardwick Suffered Concussion. Mathews and Fluker in Protective Boots

By Ernie Padaon

Jan 5, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) hands the ball of to running back Ryan Mathews (24) during second quarter of the AFC wild card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Chargers starting center Nick Hardwick was sidelined last weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals after taking a big hit to the head. He was diagnosed with a stinger during the game, but today we have learned that he has suffered a concussion and will have to go through the protocol in order to get back on the field. He will have to pass the concussion tests.

Chargers say Nick Hardwick suffered concussion Sunday.

— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) January 8, 2014

Rich Ohrnberger stepped in as the starter with Hardwick on the sideline on Sunday and he did a great job in his absence. We would love to have the leader of the offensive line back against the Broncos though. He is a key player to that offensive line.

We have seen a couple of concussions roll through our offensive line already this season. King Dunlap has had a couple of concussions this year and had to miss a few games because of it. We will have to see how Hardwick is able to recover from the injury.

A couple of other concerns for the team is the status of Ryan Mathews and D.J. Fluker. Both were in walking boots on the sideline at practice. They both have some sore ankles and it would be tough to win in Denver without their services.

Ryan Mathews and D.J. Fluker both rested ankle injuries today. In protective boots.

— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) January 8, 2014

Ryan Mathews did not finish the game against the Bengals last week. He played a couple of plays in the 3rd quarter and then sat on the sideline for the rest of the game. Mike McCoy has said that Mathews is on the same schedule as the last couple of weeks, so we will see if he is able to practice on Friday.

Mike McCoy says Ryan Mathews is on the same schedule as he was the past two weeks.

— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) January 8, 2014

Fluker was seen jumping up and down celebrating the game last week, but he is fighting through an ankle injury as well. We will need him back on the field running over some defenders.