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Chargers' McNeill Out for Season

Ex-Chiefs tackle Gaither claimed off waivers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Tackle Marcus McNeill #73 of the San Diego Chargers is carted off the field with a neck injury as quarterback Philip Rivers #17 and Tommy Kelly #93 of the Oakland Raiders lend support in the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California.

    Marcus McNeill's season is officially finished.

    The San Diego Chargers placed their two-time Pro Bowl left tackle on injured reserve Wednesday and claimed Jared Gaither, a 6-foot-9 former Kansas City Chiefs tackle, from waivers.

    McNeill, who has dealt with neck injures in the past, suffered another Nov. 20 in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders and has missed the two games since. It was the latest blow to the left side an offensive line that saw Pro Bowl guard Kris Dielman placed on IR on Nov. 15 with a concussion.

    In 2008, a neck injury forced McNeill, a 2006 second-round pick, to sit out two games before having offseason surgery. More recently, a neck injury kept him limited in an Oct. 26 practice leading up to the team's Monday night game against the Chiefs. He committed a career-high six penalties in the loss but credited the Arrowhead Stadium atmosphere and matchup with Chiefs pass rusher Tamba Hali.

    At Wednesday's practice, Brandyn Dombrowski, McNeill's replacement, did not participate with a foot injury suffered Sunday, and the recently-signed Gaither hadn't yet joined his teammates.

    On a positve note, right guard Louis Vasquez (high ankle sprain) and versatile left guard Tyronne Green (hand) returned to practice, as did wide receiver Malcom Floyd.

    The Chiefs cut Gaither earlier this week after a critical fourth-quarter false start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was his first and final snap of the game.