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Dielman to miss season
SAN DIEGO – The Chargers placed Pro Bowl left guard Kris Dielman on Reserve-Injured on Wednesday and signed versatile lineman Ikechuku Ndukwe (pronounced E-K-choo-koo IN-duke-way) to a two-year contract.
Wednesday’s move ensures the vaunted left side of San Diego’s offensive line will be missing one high-level player the rest of the year, and left tackle Marcus McNeill’s status is uncertain after leaving the Nov. 10 game against Oakland with a neck injury.
Dielman’s streak of four consecutive Pro Bowl selections, the third-longest streak in team history behind Junior Seau and LaDainian Tomlinson, will almost certainly end. He hasn’t played since suffering a concussion Oct. 23 against the New York Jets.
Head Coach Norv Turner and a few players had called Dielman’s performance prior to the Week 7 injury as good as or better than the previous four seasons. The lineman had missed just three starts since being inserted into the lineup Sept. 25, 2005, against the New York Giants.
Tyronne Green started the last three games at left guard. Scott Mruczkowski also played some guard against the Raiders after Louis Vasquez (ankle) left the game, and Brandyn Dombrowski filled in at left tackle.
Ndukwe, who goes by “E.K.,” has played for four other NFL teams. The 6-foot-4, 324-pound lineman has played 33 games and started 18, most recently for the Kansas City Chiefs in ’09. Ndukwe has played guard and tackle, the second such lineman signed by San Diego this week.
The Chargers added guard/tackle Tony Moll on Tuesday and rookie guard-tackle Stephen Schilling also remains on the roster, giving San Diego several options at guard and left tackle should a need persist against Chicago or arise going forward.