Health betrays Marcus McNeill

Sadly, we could see this coming.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that former San Diego left tackle Marcus McNeill is being forced to retire at the age of 29 because of a neck injury. The injury prematurely ended his 2011 season and it was the reason why the Chargers moved away from him in the offseason. The neck has never improved enough to allow McNeill to play again.

He was a talented player who appeared to be on his way to a long career, but in recent seasons his health betrayed him. McNeill is a smart, likeable guy. Best wishes to him and his family as he moves onto the next stage of his life.

In other AFC West notes:

Here is a look at Shannon Eastin. Thursday night, she will become the first woman ever to officiate an NFL game when the Chargers host the Packers. The NFL is using replacement officials because it is in a labor dispute with the permanent officials.

Denver football leader John Elway tells NFL.com what he thinks it will take new Denver quarterback Peyton Manning to be remembered as the greatest quarterback of all time.

Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli shares a strong bond with Arizona running back Ryan Williams.