Chargers lose starting left guard Matt Slauson for season
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers left guard Matt Slauson will miss the rest of the season with a biceps injury.
Slauson was hurt midway through the third quarter of the Chargers’ third consecutive victory, 21-0 over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. The nine-year NFL veteran was a key leader and a steady blocker for Los Angeles (3-4), which received a damper on its excitement about the franchise’s longest winning streak since 2014.
“He was one of our captains, so you’re going to lose some leadership there in that offensive line room,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said Monday. “He was a like another coach in that room, especially for the young players. So he had a lot of good intangibles. It wasn’t just what he did on the field. So we’re definitely going to miss Matt.”
Slauson, who will need surgery, is a nine-year NFL veteran who also played for the New York Jets and Chicago Bears before joining the Chargers in San Diego last year. He started all 16 games as the Chargers’ center last season before moving to guard this year.
Slauson missed 11 games in the 2014 season after tearing his pectoral muscle, but has been remarkably durable during his career. He didn’t miss a game during six of the previous seven regular seasons.
Rookie third-round pick Dan Feeney will step into Slauson’s spot on the Chargers’ starting offensive line. He is a skilled run blocker who has received increased playing time during the season while preparing for a larger role.
“I have a lot of confidence in Dan,” Lynn said. “Dan has been growing like a weed, and he’s ready. We knew that if something happened that he could step in and fill that role.”
Lynn indicated the Chargers also are likely to sign another veteran offensive lineman.
Feeney was part of the Chargers’ attempted makeover of their offensive line after it struggled last season. Los Angeles released starting guards D.J. Fluker and Orlando Franklin while signing free-agent left tackle Russell Okung and drafting Feeney and Forrest Lamp in the first three rounds.
But the Chargers already lost Lamp for the season to a knee injury during training camp.