Jared Gaither In Danger Of Missing Week 1 For Chargers

June 19, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive tackle Jared Gaither (78) smiles during a drill during minicamp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Jared Gaither's mystery injury has kept him out for a month, and now threatens to see the left tackle miss San Diego's season opener.

Whatever Jared Gaither's problem is, it might keep the big left tackle out of the Chargers' regular season opener.

Gaither has had a back injury that has kept him off the field at Chargers' practices for over a month. Gaithers' attempts to heal the injury have seen him visit three independent doctors. It isn't a good sign that after all the training camp time Gaither has missed, he received yet another test, an MRI, yesterday.

There's no timetable for Gaither's return -- or for that matter, any word on what his injury is, exactly, or how he hurt it -- but we do know he won't play in San Diego's preseason finale Thursday against San Francisco, and if he doesn't return to the field soon, it's reasonable to expect he might miss the team's first game Sept. 10 against Oakland. The team is reportedly prepared to play without him.

If Gaither isn't good to go, that's a blow for the Chargers. San Diego gave the 6'9 tackle a $26 million contract to protect Philip Rivers' blindside this offseason, and instead, the team is playing Mike Harris, an undrafted rookie from UCLA, at the spot. If Gaither continues to be hurt, the Chargers could opt to move for another player at the spot rather than entrust one of the most important positions on the field to someone who didn't merit a draft pick.

For more on the Chargers, head over to Bolts From The Blue.

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