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Long snapper Binn placed on injured reserve by Chargers

SAN DIEGO -- Long snapper David Binn, who accurately delivered the ball to San Diego Chargers punters and kickers since 1994, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday because of a hamstring injury, meaning his season is over.

The popular 17-year veteran was the only player left from the Chargers' 1994 Super Bowl team, and the last player left from Bobby Beathard's tenure as general manager.

Binn was hurt during Monday night's 21-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. It was his team-record 179th consecutive game played.

The low-key Binn was so reliable that he was almost taken for granted. He was recently selected a team captain for the first time.

"It's tough for me, and I know if it's tough for me, it's tough for him," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "That's a great honor, and it might be a first for me through all the years, being picked as a captain. It just shows how much our guys care about him and the respect they have for him."

Turner said he didn't want to put Binn on IR, but the snapper wouldn't have been able to play for six to eight weeks. "And once he could play, he's still at the risk of reinjuring it," the coach said.

"I know there's some people who say, 'Well, he's a deep snapper,' but it's as pressure-packed a job as you can have, and he's been almost perfect for a long time."

Binn wasn't available for comment.

"I feel for him on a personal level and a professional level," kicker Nate Kaeding said. "We all put a lot into preparing for a season, and then to have it taken away from him on a freak injury like that, it's tough. It's tough for him to deal with, regardless of how many seasons you've played. You never take the opportunity to get another shot at this for granted. I know he's pretty beat up about it."

Binn played in a team-record 256 of the last 257 regular-season games and all 12 of San Diego's playoff games dating to 1994. He only missed one game in the previous 16 seasons, due to a shoulder injury in 1998.

The Chargers signed James Dearth to replace Binn.

Kaeding said Binn was "amazingly consistent" at a job that requires taking a pounding.

"Dave's whatever, 230, 240 pounds, and you've got these 300-pounders lining up over top of him," the kicker said. "It's really a credit to how fit he is as an athlete, to be able to go that many years without getting hurt, either, but you're out there moving your body around in weird ways, and it's gonna get you eventually."

Mike Scifres, the punter and holder for placements, said every snap by Binn "was absolutely perfect. Every field-goal snap, there was never a question that I'd have to spin the laces. There was never a punt snap I'd have to jump for, and I knew it wasn't going to hit the ground. Going on the field with Dave snapping, I was just real comfortable, because I knew every time the snap was gonna be perfect."

Scifres said Binn would know if his snap was even a little off.

"If I had to spin laces at all, we're walking off the field to the sideline, and Dave's looking at me like, 'Well, you had to turn it a quarter to the left or to the right,' and I'm looking at him like, 'How in the world did you know that?' It just proves how good he is and how serious he took what he did. That's why he's been there for so long, that's why he's been so good at it. He's still going to be around. We're going to have a shoulder to turn to and tug on during games."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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