And then there were 11

Eleven San Diego Chargers players have been sent to injured reserve this year with the latest addition being Courtney Van Buren. The rookie suffered ligament damage to his knee in Sunday's loss to Green Bay. Van Buren is the fourth offensive lineman to be placed on IR this year. Former Charger Ed Ellis was signed to take his spot.

Courtney VanBuren had successful surgery on his knee Wednesday to repair the ligament damage. The recovery time is expected to be four to six weeks.

Van Buren, a third round pick out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, was making strides starting at both left and right tackle for the Bolts. Van Buren moved into the starting lineup at Chicago and had started each of the past seven games. His play had progressed to a level where the Chargers felt confident in his abilities and gave them pause at rushing Damion McIntosh back.

Ed Ellis, 6-7, 325, takes the place of Courtney Van Buren on the roster. The six-year veteran played in 15 games with three starts at left tackle for the Chargers in 2002.

He became a free agent after the season and signed with Denver, but was released prior to the start of the regular season.

Ellis originally joined the Chargers as an unrestricted free agent from Washington in 2001 and played in all 16 games with two starts that year.

Van Buren is the fourth offensive lineman to be placed on IR, joining Vaughn Parker, Bob Hallen and Toniu Fonoti.

Now going into Sunday's game against Pittsburgh the offensive line will again play musical chairs. Rookie Phil Bogle, who has been starting at right guard with spot duty at right tackle, will move out to right tackle and Michael Keathley will take over at guard. McIntosh may or may not be back this week, which opens up another can of worms.


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