Brandon Flowers has been a solid contributor for the San Diego Chargers’ defense. But now that a scary concussion leaves him sidelined once again, it may be time to consider his long-term health.
Football is an exhilarating sport to witness. Chargers fans, from the most passionate die-hard to the casual observer, all cheer at the sight of a hard hit or a big play. It is easy to be enthralled by the ferocity, yet simultaneously charmed by the grace of the spectacle before them. They crave the crack of the pads, and whoop with delight at their favorite defensive player knocking down the opposition.
So, when that same crowd goes silent, mouths covered in shock after witnessing a beloved player go down, a new emotion transcends their previous lust for violence: Worry.
The player they worry about is Brandon Flowers.
Oct 30, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) before the game against the Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Against the Miami Dolphins, Flowers suffered a concussion while trying to tackle a scrambling Ryan Tannehill. Smacking his head against the quarterback’s leg, the cornerback fell immediately to the turf. This was his second concussion of the season, only a few weeks removed of being cleared from the first concussion that held him out for four games already. He is currently in the league’s concussion protocol, and some expect him to be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
With a serious history of these injuries, Flowers, who will be 31 next season, should consider bringing an end to his great career, a career which includes time spent with both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers, and a Pro-Bowl nod to add. He has expressed concern over his concussions before, preferring to take time coming back from the injury rather than rush onto the field to play.
“Flowers, who will be 31 next season, should consider bringing an end to his great career.”
It is possible Tom Telesco should start considering releasing Flowers. According to Spotrac.com, the cornerback has a potential $11,000,000 salary cap hit next season. Also, with the presence of Casey Hayward playing like an All-Pro, the emerging play of Trevor Williams and an entire offseason of free agency and drafting to potentially replace him, such consideration may likely lead to action. But above all else, from a team that has already lost a Charger legend who suffered from brain injuries, the Chargers front office should consider the long-term effects of Flowers’ concussions and what another one might do to him if suffered next season.
Brandon, I have appreciated your play over the years. We admire your run-stopping effort. I can easily recall you returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown against the Patriots that (almost!) counted. The fans remember your beautiful pick-six against the Tennessee Titans.
I have so many fond memories of you in Charger blue and gold. I would love for nothing more than to see you retire and thrive. And if you are ready, I am prepared to say goodbye, and thank you, always.