The Chargers returned to practice Tuesday after a day off. The special teams had a 45-minute walk-through in the morning, followed by a full practice in the evening. Newly signed QB Kevin O'Connell was in uniform for the first time, and RB Ryan Mathews missed practice after a minor auto accident Monday night.
“We responded with having the day off,” coach Norv Turner said. “We had a good session this morning in the things we got done on in the classroom and on the field.”
What stood out: QB Kevin O'Connell, who signed Monday, largely observed to allow QB Jarrett Lee (undrafted, LSU) at least one more practice to run the first- and second-string offense. WRs Robert Meachem and Roscoe Parrish, who missed a few practices, returned to full participation and were productive. WR Malcom Floyd had three receptions in the hurry-up drill before SS Brandon Taylor (Round 3, 73rd overall) ended the drive with an INT in the end zone. Taylor was complimented for being “smart” and not attempting a return. TE Dante Rosario had a few nice receptions, including a TD. RB Michael Hayes (undrafted, Houston) had several good runs but also a costly fumble.
Position battles: T Mike Harris (undrafted, UCLA) continued to play with the first-string. LTs Jared Gaither (cramps) and Brandyn Dombrowski (foot, cyst) are not practicing. T Mario Henderson (free agent, Raiders) took some snaps with the first-string at LG, but coach Norv Turner said Tyronne Green is the starter. RB Curtis Brinkley had another strong practice and continues to make the case that he should stay over RB Jackie Battle. TE Dante Rosario continues to shine and could easily make the cut.
Injury updates: RB Ryan Mathews observed practice after a minor traffic accident Monday about midnight. Drugs and alcohol did not appear to be involved, and coach Norv Turner said Mathews was not in violation of curfew. Starting LT Jared Gaither has only participated in one practice since he left the team's first full practice with cramps Thursday. Gaither has not observed practice, which has led to speculation his injury could be serious. But Turner insisted Gaither is day-to-day and will be ready for opening day. OLB Larry English has missed several full practices, but has participated in the last two walk-thrus and does not appear significantly hurt. G-T Brandyn Dombrowski (foot, cyst) has yet to participate. SS Atari Bigby, CB Marcus Gilchrist, T Phil Trautwein, G Johnnie Troutman (pectoral) and QB Charlie Whitehurst (sore MCL) worked on the rehab field.
What's next: The Chargers will have a walk-through in the morning. Fans are invited to Qualcomm stadium for a free practice from 7:15-9:30 pm.