Nearly three weeks after breaking his clavicle, Chargers punter Mike Scifres is expected to be placed on injured reserve, according to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports (Twitter link). Scifres is reportedly progressing well from surgery, but San Diego is facing a roster crunch, forcing them to make a move now (link).
The Chargers will likely use their newly-created to roster spot to add a center, per Marvez. San Diego has used five different players at center so far this season, with Nick Hardwick, Rich Ohrnberger, Doug Legursky, Chris Watt, and Trevor Robinson all seeing time at the position. Watt went down after suffering a leg injury in last Saturday’s game against the 49ers, forcing the club to turn to Robinson, who was signed in October. He’ll presumably continue to start, while the Chargers look to add a backup. Jeff Baca, currently on SD’s practice squad, is probably an option to be promoted to the 53-man roster.
According to Marvez, the Chargers want to create roster space without moving either Keenan Allen or Ryan Mathews to injured reserve. Neither Allen, who, like Scifres, is dealing with a collarbone injury, or Mathews, who’s working through an ankle problem, is expected to play in Week 17, but San Diego likely wants to keep its two primary playmakers active in case the team makes the postseason. The Chargers can earn a wild card berth with a win over the Chiefs on Sunday.
With Scifres out, veteran Mat McBriar, signed immediately after Scifres’ injury, will continue to act as San Diego’s punter, and will continue to do so if the team enjoys a playoff run.