Here's the injury report leading up to tomorrow's game against the Titans:
|Antonio Gates||TE||Toe||Full Participation||Questionable|
|Richard Goodman||WR||Hand||Full Participation||Probable|
Let's break down what these injuries mean for tomorrow's game.
Like last week, Tight End Antonio Gates is bothered by a toe injury. However, the thought of full participation in practice leads us to believe he wasn't bothered by it and will definitely play. He said he may not be 100%, but he's going to give all of the 80% he can give when he steps onto the field, and that's good. Gates at 80% is still a 5 catch, 75 yard 1TD receiver that will undoubtedly help the passing game. He seemed to struggle setting his feet in blocking last week, so I hope he doesn't re-aggravate his toe or ankle even more this week. Wide Receivers Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee are probably out for this game, and are a critical part of the passing game. This team leads the league in dropped passes, and Rivers has been hesitant to throw deep without his 2 tallest receivers out there to catch the balls. Crayton couldn't fight for an interception last week against the Patriots, and a tall receiver should help. But the height disadvantage could be countered with speed, and that's where Goodman comes in. He probably won't be on the field for much more than special teams since he busted his finger and tore some of his webbing (ow?). Seyi Ajirotutu may be out on the field to stretch the defense out some.
Last week, Brandon Siler was active, but didn't see many snaps. Although he participated fully last week, he sat out for this week, which is a concern. Tennessee has a great run game, and Siler would be good to have as a run-stuffer. Last year he intercepted Vince Young and plugged up holes more than once in the run game. However, With monster lineman Antonio Garay and Luis Castillo having fantastic production up front, all Linebackers should be able to handle containing Chis Johnson and Javon Ringer. Larry English will be out still, but even if he were back, it's doubtful he'd be nearly as effective as the new prince of pressure, Antwan Barnes. He plays very fast, which should help against a Quarterback like Vince Young.
The most shocking line on the injury report has to be Kris Brown. He's in while Nate Kaeding is healing his groin. Now that he's on the injury report, it seems the Long Snapper curse has reached out to the Kickers. Norv Turner will now opt to go for it on all 4th downs in Field Goal range and send Scifres in for 25 yard punts when it's longer than 4th and 5. Just kidding. As awesome as that would be, this isn't Madden. How his ankle injury will affect his kicking we'll find out come his first kickoff or Field Goal attempt. If it bounces off the upright, we'll know he's just as fine as last week. Hopefully, Goodman's hands don't affect his special teams coverage and he can make a few tackles.
In conclusion, the injuries on offense will cause some concern against a defense that is superior to last week's. Rivers proved that any player eligible to catch a pass will, if he's throwing, as long as they don't fumble. If he can put up numbers close to last week without the turnovers, and the defense can contain Chris Johnson and shut down Kenny Britt (they better, he's on my bench), they could cruise to a 27-17 victory.