Kaeding's loss is another special teams gaffe

The San Diego Chargers got the news they expected about kicker Nate Kaeding since Sunday night.

The reliable placekicker is out for the year after he suffered a torn ACL on the opening play of the 2011 season, a kickoff that Minnesota’s Percy Harvin took back 103 yards for a touchdown in an eventual 24-17 San Diego win.

There were strong indications Sunday that Kaeding -- who was ably replaced by punter Mike Scifres -- would be out for the year. The Chargers will work out kickers Tuesday and make a quick decision.

San Diego will miss Kaeding. He is a consummate pro and he is very accurate. His injury has to be pegged on the Chargers’ special teams, which ruined last season.

While the unit looked good in the preseason and it improved during Sunday’s game, there is no way Kaeding should have to try to make a tackle. Now, he’s out for the season and it will be up to his replacement to keep up his end of the unit.

The Chargers did get better news on defensive end Luis Castillo. He has a broken leg, but he could be back later in the season. The San Diego Union Tribune reports the team will likely bring back Ogemdi Nwagbuo to take Castillo’s place. Nwagbuo is a solid player who was one of the team’s toughest cuts.

The team also got good news on the knee injury suffered by running back Mike Tolbert, who scored all three of San Diego’s touchdowns Sunday. Tolbert is expected to be fine.