Chargers Editorial: Time to Let D.J. Fluker Rest

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Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

The San Diego Chargers season is over. The team has no hopes of contending in this what could be their last season in San Diego. It has been a horrendous year for the team and injuries have been a common theme.

After Steve Williams concussion on Sunday, the Chargers now have 13 total concussion for the team and that leads all of the National Football League. Not exactly the stat you want to be leading in.

Starting offensive lineman D.J. Fluker suffered his second concussion in five days on Sunday November 22nd. He for some reason was allowed to play only five days after suffering a concussion at practice. Ironically it is the third straight year Fluker has suffered a concussion during practice.

D.J. Fluker was allowed to play against the Chiefs and was again hurt and this time the symptoms have been far worse than he has ever had in his professional career. He described the feelings of constant headaches and tingling sensation throughout his whole body. Those type of symptoms and the fact he recognizes them and proclaims them to everyone are a sign that he needs to be further evaluated.

It is no secret that D.J. Fluker is a gamer. He wants to be out there for his team, but sometimes the franchise needs to step in and do what is right for the player. Especially in the case that this Chargers season is over. What is the point of running him out there at the cost of further injury? It just isn’t worth it.

Nobody is questioning his toughness. Fluker has dealt with great adversity in his life but to further him to mental damage is just careless. He has had four concussions now in three seasons with the Chargers. Who knows how many prior to that in college and high school. Have we not learned anything from the untimely deaths of professional football players?

Junior Seau and his demise is well-known in the San Diego area, so it is surprising that more is not made of this issue with Fluker. The big offensive lineman practiced on Thursday and seems likely to play Sunday in Kansas City. The Chargers franchise is under so much scrutiny right now and I can understand not properly analyzing this situation. Fluker has indicated he is fine, but at what point is it worth the risk? If he were to injure himself with a concussion during one of these final games of the 2015 season his career would surely be in jeopardy. To risk that on a 3-9 team is just foolish. Let the man rest and perhaps even place him on the I.R. for the season. He is a vital member of the team moving forward. Do something right for a change Chargers management and allow Fluker to watch the remaining four games from the sidelines.

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