After suffering a potentially career-threatening injury to his neck this past season, LA Chargers Center Mike Pouncey has been cleared to return to the football field by doctors.
Mike Pouncey says he's been cleared to play by the doctors who did his surgery. "I feel great," he said. #Chargers
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) May 13, 2020
Pouncey suffered a neck injury last season in a Week 5 matchup with the Denver Broncos. He received surgery at the beginning of October and has finally been cleared by his doctors to return to the football field and resume football activities.
The return of Pouncey is great news for the LA Chargers. The four-time Pro Bowl Center brings leadership, experience and toughness to the offensive line. Along with getting Pouncey back, the Chargers acquired veteran lineman Bryan Bulaga in free agency and Trai Turner via trade this offseason.
With former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers heading to the Indianapolis Colts, the Chargers get some much-needed leadership back on the offense. The return of Pouncey could also benefit the development of Justin Herbert as he will be taking snaps from a four-time Pro Bowl center, have a five-time Pro Bowl right guard in Turner and a Super Bowl Champion in Bulaga at right tackle.
The Chargers offensive line has struggled quite a bit over the past few seasons, and while there are still some questions surrounding the left side of the line, these veterans will provide a massive upgrade overall.
To go along with Pouncey, Turner and Bulaga, Chargers fans should expect a position battle at left tackle between Trey Pipkins and Sam Tevi and a battle between Dan Feeney or Forrest Lamp at left guard.
The Chargers could also take a chance at signing Jason Peters or Kelvin Beachum who are some of the top remaining tackles left in free agency. Adding one of these veteran left tackles would drastically improve the Chargers starting line and could help the Chargers get back into playoff contention.
Pouncey also mentioned in a Zoom call with reporters that having a mobile quarterback “helps in every aspect”. With Rivers under center, the line would need to hold their blocks for much longer than they will need to for Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert. This will allow the Chargers offense to open the playbook more, which could result in more explosive plays and taking fewer sacks.
While Pouncey is still in the rehab process, he plans to be ready to go whenever teams are allowed to start practicing. The return of Pouncey gives the line some stability as the team had 10 different linemen take snaps during the 2019 season. After a year plagued by injuries, the LA Chargers offensive line gets some much-needed leadership and consistency with the return of Mike Pouncey.