Offensive lineman King Dunlap joined the Chargers via free agency during the 2013 offseason.
After missing five games during his debut season with San Diego, Dunlap went on to play in and start all 16 games of the 2014 season, earning him a new four-year, $28 million deal with the organization during the 2015 offseason. The now 31-year-old was also awarded the team’s Offensive Lineman of the Year Award for his work during the 2014 campaign.
Then comes the 2015 season.
Due to various injuries and ailments, including concussion problems, Dunlap only suited up for seven games in ’15, leaving the starting left tackle spot to be manned by players such as Tyreek Burwell and Chris Hairston, to name a couple.
The hope around Chargers Park was that the nine-year veteran would rebound health-wise and come into the 2016 season will a clean bill of health.
Everything seemed fine for Dunlap, that is until the day of their Week 3 contest against the Indianapolis Colts.
Reports from the team came out that Dunlap was suffering from an “illness” of some sort, relating, to at least some degree, to migraines.
Dunlap missed the Week 3 loss against the Colts and he would go on to miss the Week 4 loss to the Saints, too.
The Chargers have gone on the record stating that Dunlap’s illness issues do not have anything to do with a concussion, something that he has dealt with throughout portions of his football career.
When the Bolts released their Wednesday practice participation report, Dunlap was listed as a limited participant, meaning he probably did some stretching and individual work but did not participate in many, if any, team drills.
Last week against the Saints, the Chargers moved Joe Barksdale over to left tackle and shuffled around other portions of the offensive line, as well.
The team has also used Chris Hairston at left tackle in the absence of Dunlap.
It is very difficult to say when one should expect Dunlap to return to field. The Bolts, as usual, have been very tight-lipped on the issue, so it is safe to say that no one truly has any idea when King will be back on the gridiron.
Needless to say, we all hope he returns sooner rather than later.
Dave Booga Peters