Chargers center Mike Pouncey, who missed most of the 2019 season with a neck injury, has been medically cleared, as Pouncey himself told reporters this morning (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). In April, GM Tom Telesco provided a positive status report (Twitter link via Fernando Ramirez of NBC Sports), and Pouncey has now taken the last step in his recovery.
Pouncey, a four-time Pro Bowler, suffered the neck injury in an early October game and was forced to undergo surgery. It was just one of several injuries for the Bolts in 2019, but this one was serious enough to have lifelong ramifications. Fortunately, Pouncey appears to have dodged a major bullet.
Pouncey spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Dolphins before his release in 2018. The Chargers gladly picked him up off the pile and he turned in a Pro Bowl performance for his new team. Then, before the start of last season, he inked a one-year, $9MM deal to extend his stay through 2020.
When Pouncey went down last year, the Chargers moved Dan Feeney from left guard to the middle to replace Pouncey, and plugged Forrest Lamp into Feeney’s spot. They also used 2018 fifth-round pick Scott Quessenberry to help fill the void. Of course, they will be much better off with the 30-year-old (31 in July) on the field.
The Bolts did not select an interior offensive lineman in this year’s draft, which is perhaps indicative of their faith in Pouncey’s successful return.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.