The Los Angeles Chargers lost one of their leaders on Monday as Head Coach Anthony Lynn announced that left guard Matt Slauson will miss the rest of the season with a biceps injury. The veteran suffered the injury midway through the third quarter of Sunday's 21-0 win over the Denver Broncos.
"It's bad enough that he'll be gone for the season," the head coach said.
A rugged interior lineman, Slauson was voted a captain for the first time this year by his teammates. Thus, it's no surprise that Lynn hopes the 6-5, 315-pounder will remain around the team despite being unable to play.
"He was one of my captains," Lynn said. "We're going to lose some leadership there. In that offensive line room, he was like another coach. Especially for the young players. He had a lot of good intangibles. It wasn't just what he did on the field…. It depends on where he rehabs, but I'd love to have him here in the building and still help with the young guys."
The nine-year veteran will be replaced at left guard by rookie Dan Feeney, who was the Chargers' third-round pick in this year's draft. While it's tough to fill Slauson's shoes, Lynn has the utmost confidence in the Indiana product to fit in seamlessly.
"Feeney will definitely step up into that spot and we'll keep it moving," Lynn said. "A lot of confidence in Dan. Dan's been growing like a weed. He's ready. We knew that if something happened, that he could step in and fill that role."
A 6-4, 310-pound product out of Indiana, Feeney is only the fourth Hoosier to ever earn two first-team All-America honors. The Bolts have worked the guard into the lineup in recent weeks, getting him acclimated to the NFL.
Blessed with impressive athleticism for an interior lineman, Feeney arrived in L.A. known for his prowess in the run game. However, Lynn's been impressed with how much he's grown when it comes to protecting the quarterback.
"We knew that in the run game he could do some things differently with his speed and athletic ability, but he's gotten better in the pass protection game. That's what I saw yesterday; I saw him much improved in pass protection."
Feeney's insertion into the starting lineup isn't the only move Lynn announced, as the head coach acknowledged the team is currently evaluating players to sign. In the meantime, Michael Schofield becomes the team's jack-of-all-trades, as the versatile lineman becomes the primary backup at guard as well as tackle. Schofield has already started two games this year at right tackle in place of an injured Joe Barksdale.
Finally, Slauson becomes the third offensive lineman to be lost for the year as Forrest Lamp suffered an ACL injury during training camp while Chris Hairston was placed on the Reserve-Non Football Illness list in September.