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Chargers say C Hardwick has concussion

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 8, 2014 at 6:01 pm •  Published: January 8, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Chargers say center Nick Hardwick sustained a concussion as well as a stinger Sunday in the team's playoff victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Rookie coach Mike McCoy, who's loath to discuss injuries, said the concussion was diagnosed after the game. The first word of that diagnosis came when the team announced its injury report after practice Wednesday.

It's not known whether Hardwick will be able to play Sunday in the divisional round game at AFC West rival Denver, the AFC's No 1 seed. He must pass certain tests in order to be cleared to play.

Rookie right tackle D.J. Fluker also sat out practice with an ankle injury, as did running back Ryan Mathews.

Rich Ohrnberger replaced Hardwick on Sunday and played well.

Quarterback Philip Rivers said he'd feel comfortable behind Ohrnberger again if Hardwick can't play Sunday.

"I don't want to ever speak like I don't appreciate Rich and what he did, and if he has to do it again we're confident he will," Rivers said. "A guy like Nick, it's been a lot of years. We've spent a lot of time together, both in that meeting room, off the field and out here on this practice field. So from a communication standpoint, that's the biggest thing.

"Obviously Nick's a great player but he knows sometimes what I'm saying even if I don't say it right. Rich and I have been in 50-60 snaps together, maybe a little more than that, where Nick and I, there's no telling how many. That would be the biggest thing with the noise and him understanding what I was trying to get to or what we're doing.

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