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Gates, English and Cooper Practicing for the Chargers

The news coming out of Chargers Park for the last few days is almost entirely positive. Sure, Marcus McNeill had to have minor surgery and will probably miss all but the final preseason game leading up to the season, but he was back to his usual Pro Bowl form after one poor game in St. Louis last season. I'm not worried.

The good news is that Antonio Gates, Larry English and Stephen Cooper are all on the practice field with the rest of the team for the first time in quite some time. Gates is fighting through the same foot injuries that shortened his 2010 season, and Larry English is coming off of foot surgery himself after a second straight injury-plagued campaign.

Stephen Cooper, after testing the free agency waters, is back with the Chargers is what appears to be a backup role. It will be very interesting to see if he's put on Special Teams, a role usually required for backup Linebackers. Before taking over for Donnie Edwards as the starting ILB, Cooper was viewed as one of the best Special Teams players on the Chargers.