Some of you may remember a few weeks back that San Diego Chargers left guard Kris Dielman sustained a concussion against the New York Jets but refused to leave the game. On the team flight home from New York that night, Dielman suffered what was then referred to as a very violent seizure. He has not played since, and today the Chargers placed him on injured reserve, ending his season.
As a Chargers fan I see this as a huge blow to the team but I can’t argue with the decision. Dielman is just 30 years old and while he’s one of the best guards in the NFL, his health needs to come first. The Bolts are likely headed nowhere this season and while losing Dielman hurts a struggling team even more, he needs to rest and get fully healthy while recovering from that horrible episode.
The Dielman incident has forced the NFL to look hard at its concussion policy and how it deal with players who may have suffered head injuries on the field. The league will now instruct officials in how to spot those incidents and empower them to force players to leave the field if referees believe they are in danger.
The 320-pound Dielman is a workhorse and one of the team leaders for San Diego. He is a four-time Pro Bowler and one of the most respected and hard-working players in the league. Last year he missed a game because of a concussion, so hopefully this isn’t a recurring thing for him.
Dielman went undrafted in 2003 out of Indiana University. He earned All-Big 10 honors as a junior while playing tight end, but a coaching change before his senior year saw him switch to defensive line. He was a team captain during his final season despite playing a position he was not entirely comfortable at.
After going undrafted the Chargers signed him as a free agent, and converted him from defensive tackle to offensive guard. Before long he was the team’s starting left guard and a huge part of the team’s offense.
He was a Pro Bowl starter last season for the second time and we hope he recovers and is able to continue his stellar career next season.