The Chargers have lost veteran center Nick Hardwick for the season, the team announced today in a press release. According to the club, the longtime Chargers center has been placed on injured reserve due to a neck injury. After starting 67 consecutive games for San Diego, Hardwick is still adjusting to the fact that he’ll miss the rest of the 2014 campaign.
“It’s hard and it’s still setting in,” Hardwick said. “I have a touch of shock I guess and I don’t really know how I feel right now. You’re programmed one way and through everything you’ve done you’ve always continued to push forward and push through to find ways to get on the field. Unfortunately for this season it’s not going to happen anymore.”
With Hardwick out of the lineup, San Diego is expected to turn to Rich Ohrnberger as its starting center. The club will also have an open spot on its 53-man roster, so a corresponding move will likely be announced soon.
As for Hardwick, who turns 33 this Friday, he had been in the last year of his contract, so it remains to be seen whether he’ll be back with the Chargers – or even playing in the NFL at all – next season. This isn’t the first neck injury for the former Pro Bowler, who would require medical clearance before returning to the field.