Jared Gaither injury: Chargers place tackle on IR

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither's season ended Friday with the news that the team has placed him on injured reserve due to his nagging groin injury.

Philip Rivers' already questionable pass protection took a huge blow Friday afternoon with the San Diego Chargers placing left tackle Jared Gaither on the season-ending injured reserve list with a groin injury, according to the team's Twitter account.

Gaither originally suffered the injury back in Week 5, but still managed to play in two more games after that. Gaither was unable to make it back to the field after leaving the Chargers' Nov. 1 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs though, limiting the 2012 free agent acquisition to a total of just four games in the first year of his four-year, $24.5 million contract.

Undrafted free agent Mike Harris will continue to cover Rivers' blind side now that Gaither's absence for the rest of the season is official.

If you're looking for the exact math on his questionable contract, Gaither earned $2.25 million for each game he played in this season thanks to a $8 million signing bonus, according to Michael Gehlken. And with how disappointing fellow free-agent signees Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal and Jarret Johnson have been this season, it's possible that Chargers general manager A.J. Smith reconsiders before busting open the piggy bank once again.

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