SAN DIEGO -- Eric Weddle wanted to make a statement.
Placed on season-ending, injured reserve earlier this week against his wishes, Weddle ran 50-yard sprints and did lateral slides on a side field while his teammates went through stretches at the start of Thursday’s practice.
Weddle appeared to be running at full speed, and his effort drew comments from quarterback Philip Rivers watching while the rest of teammates stretched.
Rivers said on Wednesday he wished that Weddle had more time to show that he could get healthy before Sunday’s game.
“I hate it that he’s not going to be out there for his last one and finish this season with all of us,” Rivers said. “That’s definitely tough. You don’t want to see it end that way for him.
“He’s played through a lot of things over his career. And so I would have loved to see him have the chance to get to Friday or Saturday, and see if he could go. But that didn’t happen because I think he would have done all he could to be out there with us one last time.”
Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said the organization decided to place Weddle on injured reserve on Monday after a conversation with the team’s medical staff, including head trainer James Collins, determining that Weddle could not make it back to the field healthy after reinjuring his groin.
Placing a healthy player on injured reserve is in violation of league rules.
“We made the decision on what we thought was best for the football team this week, with what his injury was, what his diagnosis was and when we thought he could play again and be at full speed to help our team,” McCoy said. “That’s the decision we made.”
McCoy said Weddle’s replacement, second-year pro Adrian Philips, had been in Weddle’s hip pocket ever since joining the team last season, learning daily from the veteran safety.
Along with placing Weddle on injured reserve, McCoy confirmed this week that the Chargers fined the 30-year-old safety $10,000 for violating team policy by not going into the locker room at halftime of the team’s 30-14 win over the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago, choosing instead to watch his daughter perform in a halftime show with the team’s cheerleaders.
An unrestricted free agent in 2016, Weddle is all but certain to be playing elsewhere next season. Weddle skipped voluntary workouts last offseason to show his displeasure with the Chargers’ unwillingness to sign him to a contract extension.
Weddle said he felt disrespected by the way the organization handled negotiations.
“It’s tough anytime a guy gets hurt,” defensive coordinator John Pagano said. “It’s always a setback. But the thing is, these younger guys are getting better. They’re playing more. They’re playing together, and you see the things they’re doing, which is good because it always takes reps.”