Chargers lose venerable long-snapper

Usually, the loss of a long-snapper isn’t overly concerning for a team. However, David Binn is not a usual long-snapper.

Putting an explanation point on a stinging loss Monday night in Kansas City, Binn suffered a torn hamstring on Dexter McCluster’s 94-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Chiefs’ 21-14 win. Binn, who has been with the team since 1994, finished the game.

Replacing Binn may be difficult and it certainly will be awkward. The team signed former Jet long-snapper James Dearth. San Diego punter Mike Scifres and kicker Nate Kaeding will have to adjust to working without Binn for the first time.

Binn, who set a franchise record by playing in his 179th consecutive game on Monday, has played in 256 NFL games. It is a franchise record as his 17 seasons with the team. Dearth spent nine seasons with the Jets before being released in a cost-cutting move.

San Diego’s special teams had a tough night Monday night (and it was noticed by former star Kassim Osgood who will visit San Diego with Jacksonville on Sunday) and it will be interesting to see if Binn’s absence causes an issues.

Meanwhile, San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman was limited in practice with Achilles issues that has been bothering him for a month. It kept him out of the Kansas City game. Linebacker Stephen Cooper did not practice with a knee injury.