Monday December 8th, 2014

San Diego Chargers punter Mike Scifres sustained a fractured clavicle on a punt play against the New England Patriots on Sunday night and will undergo surgery on Monday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday morning.

New England running back Brandon Bolden, playing on special teams, blocked a Scifres punt inside Chargers territory during the second quarter, running into the kicker in the process. The collision sent Scifres spinning, and the punter landed hard on his left shoulder.

Scifres remained on the ground for several minutes after the play as he was attended to by San Diego trainers. They wrapped his arm in a sling and took him off the field in a cart.

BURKE: Defense leads Patriots over Chargers as New England stays atop AFC

On Sunday night, the team reported that Scifres had sustained a left shoulder injury, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the team feared Scifres' clavicle was fractured. Rapoport reported that the clavicle was in fact broken, and that the punter could return for the playoffs, should San Diego advance.

Nick Novak took over punting duties in Scifres' absence; Scifres also serves as the teams holder on field goals, a responsibility that fell to Eric Weddle after Scifres left the game.

Bolden's play helped set up a scoring drive in the first half of New England's 23-14 victory. Bolden's satisfaction with the win was tempered by Scifres' injury.

"It wasn't an exciting moment for me anymore," Bolden said after the game, according to The Boston Herald. "My first blocked NFL punt, I was very excited at first, and when I looked back and saw when they had to bring the cart on the field, it was a totally different story. All the excitement was out the window."

"I had to go out there and check on him and tell him it was nothing intentional. I was not trying to hurt him."

Titans QB Zach Mettenberger (shoulder) likely out for season

The Patriots scored 20 unanswered points after the second quarter, securing the win as well as New England's first-place position in the AFC. The Patriots are now 10-3 and host the Miami Dolphins next week.

San Diego scored only seven offensive points against New England, and at 8-5 are now second in the AFC West and sixth in the AFC. They host the Denver Broncos, who lead the AFC West, next week.

 
- Christopher Woody

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