The San Diego Chargers began Monday with a special teams walk-through. The red zone, two-minute offense and special teams were the focus of the evening practice.
“We are trying to touch every phase we can as we go through the next five days,” coach Norv Turner said. “This is a great five-day period before we start preparing for the Cowboy game."
What stood out: RB Ronnie Brown and Curtis Brinkley shared the majority of reps. The two are competing to fill in for Ryan Mathews (broken clavicle). Mathews is expected to miss the next four to six weeks, but worked out on the rehab field without the benefit of a sling on Monday, just four days after suffering the injury.
Mathews said he is preparing to play in the season opener, but Turner expects him to be out longer. “Last time I checked, Ryan is not a doctor,” Turner said. “We are just going to evaluate him on a weekly basis. If he heals fast and he is ready that early, that would be great. But what I have been told is four to six weeks in terms of him being able to get back out there. We will just see how it goes.”
Position battles: WR Malcom Floyd, TE Antonio Gates and ILB Takeo Spikes did not practice in order to allow rookies to get some extra reps. TE Ladarius Green (round four, 110th overall pick) benefited most for the absence of the veterans and he had the most touches he has had in a practice so far in camp.
Green did not have a reception against the Packers in the preseason opener on Thursday. Many believe he is on the bubble because San Diego has six TEs on the roster. Green, however, said he was not concerned about his playing time. “I know what the deal is,” Green said. “I know how many tight ends we have and how much experience they have. I just need to play my role as a rookie and learn from the other guys.
Injury updates: DT Garrett Brown (left foot in boot), WR Richard Goodman (unknown), RB Ryan Mathews (clavicle), WR Eddie Royal (leg) and G Johnnie Troutman (pectoral) worked out on the side and did not practice. Also did not practice: G-T Brandyn Dombrowski (foot, cyst), LT Jared Gaither (back spasms) and DT Antonio Garay (left foot in boot).
Goodman was a new addition to the non-participants list. He missed several practices last week and did not play against the Packers, but he participated in practice over the weekend.
K Nate Kaeding (personal reasons) and FS Eric Weddle (hip) returned to practice
What's next: The Chargers will have a walk-through Tuesday morning followed by a full practice in the afternoon. All practices are now closed to the public.
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