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Chargers notebook: Leber's bothersome foot could be boon for Merriman

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <strong>August 3, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/08/03/sports/professional/chargers/22_23_358_2_05.txt">The North County Times</a>

    SAN DIEGO ---- Outside linebacker Ben Leber is expected to miss two weeks after the removal of a bone spur from his ankle, coach Marty Schottenheimer said on Tuesday.

    Leber, a three-year starter, had his offseason training curtailed because of a bone bruise in his foot. The latest injury flared up last week, and he had been working sporadically.

    "This won't set him back too far,'' Schottenheimer said.

    It's a critical time for Leber, as he tries to hold off rookie Shawne Merriman for his position. Merriman, the draft's 12th overall pick, went through his first practice Tuesday night after signing a five-year deal Monday.

    Leber had 58 tackles and two sacks last year playing on running downs. But he was eager to prove this summer he's more than a run-stopping specialist.

    "He was having a good camp,'' Schottenheimer said.

    "His pass rush was much improved.''

    VanBuren's setback

    Tackle Courtney VanBuren's return from a serious knee injury will be delayed two weeks after consulting with additional medical personnel on Monday.

    VanBuren, who tore up his right knee last summer and missed all but the 2004 season opener, will enter a rehabilitation program. The plan is to build the knee's strength, then get him back on the field wearing a brace for support.

    The Chargers were somewhat encouraged in that no structural damage was revealed.

    Quick hits

    There appeared to be nothing new to report in the contract impasse with Pro Bowl TE Antonio Gates. Chargers GM A.J. Smith does not give daily updates; Gates' agent, Andre Colona, failed to return a phone call. ... Tuesday's workout was the first of two the team will hold under the temporary lights at Chargers Park. The Chargers will also practice on the evening of Aug. 17, with an autograph session preceding the workout. ... WR Keenan McCardell has switched to his old No. 87 jersey. He wore No. 86 after joining the team midway through last year because Tim Dwight, who's no longer with the team, donned No. 87. ... Those not working were: DE Adell Duckett (knee), TE Ryan Krause (foot), LB Ben Leber (ankle), OL Courtney VanBuren (knee), WR Reche Caldwell (hamstring), Igor Olshansky (hamstring), LB Randall Godfrey (knee), WR Malcom Floyd (calf). ... The team practices in pads at 3:35 p.m. today.
     

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