OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Atari Bigby #26 of the San Diego Chargers sitting on the gatorade ice chest, looks on from the sidelines in the first quarter of the season opener against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 10, 2012 in Oakland, California. The Chargers won the game 22-14. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Chargers’ strong safety Atari Bigby left the game against Baltimore in the second quarter with a groin injury and did not return.
Two days later, he was placed on injure-reserve.
This is the fourth person the team has placed on injure-reserve this season.
Earlier in the season, defensive coordinator John Pagano talked about what Bigby brought to the team.
“He’s someone who plays with high effort,” Pagano said. “He tackles, runs to the football and he does everything that we ask him to do. He’s a good leader out there on the field. When he came here we saw the things that he could do. The film of him was limited, but we saw a guy who was explosive and played down in the box.”
Bigby had played in all 11 games and recorded 68 tackles, he also held the team record for longest hair (although returner Richard Goodman could give him a run for his money). He was the team’s best strong safety but with a three to five-week projected recovery, his season is over.
Before the game against Baltimore the Chargers had four safeties on their roster, by the end of the game, only Corey Lynch was healthy.
Pro-Bowler Eric Weddle suffered a concussion during Ravens’ running back Ray Rice’s infamous fourth and 29 conversion. Special teams’ captain Darrell Stuckey injured his hamstring. Weddle will most likely play against the Bengals on Sunday, but Stuckey will have to wait to see how Wednesday, the Chargers’ first practice of the week, goes to tell how quickly he is healing.
The Chargers next option for safety is rookie Brandon Taylor.
He was the 73rd pick of the 2012 draft out of Louisiana State University. If he starts on Sunday, it will be his first start of the season.
Along with moving Bigby to injure-reserve, the Chargers resigned linebacker Bront Bird.
In nine games during the 2011 season the Texas Tech grad logged six tackles and three assists.
Bird is just finishing a four-game suspension for breaking the NFL’s performance enhancement rules.