Chargers report to league they have 2,500 tickets left for Sunday's home opener -- ka No word on company buying leftover tix, & Chargers can't ask for extension unless have real chance of selling out. Next few days big -- kaAcee Twitter
Norv doesn't expect LT, Jamal, Hardwick, Vasquez to practice tomorrow. All will probably be Sunday decision. Players off today -- kaS.D. U-T Chargers (sdutChargers) on Twitter
San Diego’s worst nightmare grew as the night wore on. Battered on the offensive line, they lost center Nick Hardwick and guard Louis Vasquez with significant knee injuries. Luis Castillo came off with a shoulder injury and never came back. Nose tackle Jamal Williams hardly played in the second half, and neither did LaDainian Tomlinson. One wonders about their health. Shawne Merriman was dragging his surgically repaired left leg while chasing ball carriers or rushing the passer and was a shell of himself. The electrifying Sproles, who made very big plays down the stretch, dropped three kicks, something never seen before. Tomlinson fumbled, Rivers was picked off and the offensive line gave up three sacks and allowed 13 pressures. Kevin Burnett cannot cover tight ends. Clinton Hart got burned multiple times. Steve Gregory was singed in coverage. Defensive end Travis Johnson got crushed. And when it was Big on Big, the defensive line was pushed around like a shopping cart at Vons. My worst fears all arrived at once. I worried about lack of depth on the offensive front, and now you have lost two starters. Those backups committed three critical penalties. I worried about lack of talent along the defensive line, and now you see what has transpired. The Chargers may have won, but they lost a lot of talent along the way. The Raiders may claim a moral victory, but it was a real-life loss.
The Chargers played without LaDainian Tomlinson much of the night. On the shovel pass on which he lost a fumble for the first time in 987 touches, Tomlinson rolled his ankle. He would come in and out of the game throughout the second half. "It wasn't bad enough I couldn't play," said Tomlinson, who was limping badly after the game. "Toward the end, it really got tight on me."
Andre Coleman has been signed from the practice squad because Jacques Cesaire is doubtful for tonight's game. A roster spot needs to be opened up, and it could be one of the other Defensive Lineman or perhaps C.J. Spillman that gets cut. UPDATE: Gartrell Johnson has been waived. If he clears waivers, the team can sign him to the practice squad to take Andre Coleman's spot.
Jay Cutler and the Bears' chances of having a great season just got significantly worse.
1. LADAINIAN DOMINATION: LaDainian Tomlinson has played a full season (16 games) against the Raiders in his eight-year career and gained a whopping 1,906 yards rushing, caught 52 passes for an additional 262 yards, scored 22 touchdowns and thrown for three more scores. Taking it a step further, he's gained 1,005 yards rushing in just eight games at Oakland, failing to surpass 100 yards only twice. So, even if the Raiders didn't have the league's worst rushing defense over the past six seasons, yeah, you probably should watch him.Five things to watch - SignOnSanDiego.com
Four days old and hopefully not outdated, be sure to check out my preview of tonight's Chargers/Raiders game if you haven't already.
1. Philip Rivers: Rivers needs to play like a superstar this year. All the pieces are in place for him to have a big year. He has talent around him and he is in his prime. Rivers is a leader whose teammates believe in him. It is time for him to improve and take the next step along with his teammates. 2. LaDainian Tomlinson: Tomlinson doesn’t have to be great this season and he might not be. He just turned 30, has battled injuries and he had his least productive season last year. So, not much is expected. But if Tomlinson, who seems fiercely focused this summer, can stay healthy and rush for 1,500 yards, the multi-talented Chargers will be difficult to stop. 3. Shawne Merriman: If Merriman is the same player he was before he missed all but one game with a knee injury last season, the Chargers defense will be tough. San Diego learned to play without him last season, but it was a rough lesson and it’s not anything the team wants to repeat. The Chargers are much better against the pass, and they are much meaner overall, with Merriman on the field. He makes them a different team.