The Los Angeles Chargers placed starting center Mike Pouncey on injured reserve Wednesday with a season-ending neck injury that will require surgery.
Head coach Anthony Lynn suggested the injury — sustained in the Chargers’ loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday — could have been much more serious. He did not rule out the possibility that it could be career ending.
“We’re tickled to death that he’s OK, with the injury that he had,” Lynn said. “He’s going to have neck surgery at some point, and we wish him all the best.
“… I can’t say if it’s career-ending or not. We just won’t have him for the rest of the season, I know that.”
In a corresponding move, the Chargers signed guard/center Ryan Groy to the vacant roster spot.
Los Angeles (2-3) will move Dan Feeney from left guard to center in place of Pouncey, and move third-year lineman Forrest Lamp into the starting rotation at left guard in place of Feeney.
The Chargers began the season without starting left tackle Russell Okung, who was placed on the non-football illness list in August due to a pulmonary embolism caused by blood clots he suffered during a workout in June.
Meanwhile, tight end Hunter Henry returned to practice for the first time since sustaining a tibial plateau fracture in his left knee in the season opener.
Henry, who was officially listed as limited, was originally given a 4- to 6-week timetable for return.
Lynn said Monday that Henry could practice this week, but also that there was “no guarantee” he would play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I just want to make sure he’s OK before we put him back out there,” Lynn added Wednesday.