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Ladarius Green to be evaluated for concussion

Green is expected to have a prominent role with Gates' absence.

The Chargers have escaped the preseason virtually unscathed.

Two players are nursing more serious injuries -- guard Johnnie Troutman (arm) and outside linebacker Tourek Williams (foot) -- and certainly there are many with bumps, bruises and minor sprains. But for the most part, the team is healthy.

A significant blow might be coming, though.

Tight end Ladarius Green practiced Wednesday, but it was announced after players left the field that Green was being evaluated for a possible concussion. Now in his fourth season, Green was expected to have a prominent role in San Diego's offense, both because of his talent -- his size and speed creates mismatches whenever he's used, which hasn't been much over the past four years -- and especially because of the absence of Antonio Gates, who is serving a four-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.

In 2013, Green started 10 games for the Chargers and ended the season with 376 receiving yards; in 2014, he started only four games and finished with 226 yards.

It's been a bit puzzling why Green hasn't been used more over the last three seasons. This was his chance.

The evaluation might turn out to be benign -- which would obviously be good news to Green and also the team -- but there's no denying that at the moment, it's concerning. (It should be pointed out that obviously, Green's health is most important in the matter.)

The silver lining here? Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has an offense full of weapons, from the return of running back Danny Woodhead to the addition of receiver Stevie Johnson and the continuity of Malcom Floyd and Keenan Allen. He should have no problem spreading the ball around. If Green is gone, it's certainly not ideal, but it's also not disastrous.

The Chargers currently have two other healthy tight ends on their roster -- David Johnson and Kyle Miller -- and if Green turns out to be concussed, the news may force a roster move.


**Guard Johnnie Troutman (arm) and linebacker Tourek Williams (foot) did not practice Wednesday. Linebacker Jerry Attaochu (hamstring) and safety Craig Mager (hamstring) were limited.

**Bill Barnwell of Grantland predicts the Chargers will be one of eight teams to decline in 2015 (in terms of record, performance or both). He says: "The Chargers were an average team that looked better than that last year; this time around, they should play average and get average results." Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, however, has the Chargers in the Super Bowl. Ahhh, prognostications. 

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