Though the Los Angeles Chargers had already ruled out Mike Pouncey for the remainder of the season, the Pro Bowl center still had to undergo neck surgery. According to a league source, Pouncey had the surgery performed Friday in Pittsburgh.
Pouncey suffered the neck injury during the first half of the Chargers' Week 5 loss to the Denver Broncos. Left guard Dan Feeney shifted over to center to fill the void, a move that became permanent after the team confirmed that Pouncey would not return this season. Los Angeles officially placed Pouncey on injured reserve Wednesday, adding free-agent offensive lineman Ryan Groy in a corresponding roster move.
Pouncey started every game for the Chargers last season, his first with the club. Prior to his neck injury, Pouncey had only missed 19 games since entering the NFL in 2011. On Thursday, Los Angeles head coach Anthony Lynn declined to comment on whether Pouncey's injury will threaten his career.
With Pouncey on the shelf for at least the remainder of 2019 and Forrest Lamp moving into the starting lineup, the Chargers now lack for experience among their reserve offensive linemen. The newly added Groy has appeared in 56 games with 17 starts, but both Scott Quessenberry and rookie Trey Pipkins have combined for 25 game appearances and zero starts. The team also has Spencer Drango and Tyree St. Louis on the practice squad. Drango has appeared in 32 games with19 starts for the Cleveland Browns while St. Louis has yet to appear in a regular-season game.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH