Updated March 1, 2012 at 3:18 p.m.
Chargers OG Kris Dielman announced his retirement Thursday, ending his nine-year career.
Dielman, a four-time Pro Bowler, suffered a concussion last season, which led to a seizure. He also felt other effects of the head injury and missed the team's final 10 games. At a press conference, Dielman said he was upset his career had to end so quickly.
"I gave everything I had. It ended a little early but it is the right thing to do," Dielman said. "I had a blast."
A former defensive lineman at Indiana, Dielman was undrafted in 2003. He was signed by the Chargers and changed positions, in the process becoming one of the best offensive guard in football. San Diego head coach Norv Turner said of Dielman, "There's never been a guy more old school," and QB Philip Rivers choked up discussing his emotions for his former teammate.
The way we see it
Prior to the Super Bowl, Rivers told PFW he had spoken with Dielman and expected him to return to the lineup for the 2012 season. However, with the news that doctors are advising him to step away from the game, it is clearly in Dielman's best interests to retire. His absence makes the offensive line an even greater priority for the Chargers, who also likely are going to have to replace OLT Marcus McNeill, who likely will be cut soon, according to multiple reports.