The San Diego Chargers have been without two of their original starting cornerbacks for majority of the 2016 season.
Pro Bowler Jason Verrett missed all but four games this season due to a torn ACL. Verrett was placed on injured reserve following Week 4. Brandon Flowers suffered two concussions this season, which led to missing seven games (including the previous three). Flowers has now been placed on IR and will miss the remainder of the season.
Chargers place CB Brandon Flowers on IR. Effectively, he missed 10 games to two concussions this year. Four concussions past three seasons.
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) December 14, 2016
This was expected. Dealing with head injuries is serious, and Flowers can’t seem to avoid suffering said injuries. He will finish the year with 28 total tackles, five pass deflections and one interception (a pick-six). The Chargers signed DT Kaleb Eulls to the active roster in a corresponding move.
This season could perhaps be Flowers’ last as a Charger. He turns 31 years old in February, and after dealing with a significant amount of concussions, retirement could be a realistic option. Aside from injuries, Flowers just hasn’t been the same player we saw in 2014–you know, the one who could cover and wasn’t a liability when on the field. 2015 was a disappointing year for Flowers, and even though he rebounded in 2016, he wasn’t exactly shutting down opposing receivers.
According to San Diego Union-Tribune’s Michael Gehlken, the Chargers could save around $5 million if they release Flowers in 2017. Flowers, who signed a four-year, $36.4 million extension with $20.5 million guaranteed in 2015, is due to make $9 million next year.
Luckily, the Chargers struck gold with signing former Packers cornerback Casey Hayward to a four-year deal this offseason. He’s been playing like an All-Pro and leads the league in interceptions with seven. Hayward and Verrett should form a dominant tandem for the foreseeable future as long as they stay healthy… which seems to be hard to do these days if you’re a Charger.
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