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Chargers to begin a bit thin in linebacker corps

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <strong>August 10, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://northcountytimes.com/articles/2005/08/10/sports/professional/chargers/21_42_358_9_05.txt">North County Times</a>

    SAN DIEGO ---- Like any team that runs a 3-4 defense, the Chargers have loaded up on quality linebackers.

    Yet when the Chargers take the field for the first time Thursday night for an exhibition game against the Green Bay Packers, those linebackers will be in short supply.

    Standout Donnie Edwards and first-round draft pick Shawne Merriman are both doubtful to play because of injury.

    On Monday, Edwards suffered what coach Marty Schottenheimer called a "first-degree sprain" of his right ankle.

    "I would think at this juncture that he might not play," Schottenheimer said Tuesday after practice. "He gave me an indication yesterday right after the incident occurred that he would be fine. The fact that he wasn't able to practice today gives me some sense that we're not going to take any chances."

    Schottenheimer didn't seem too concerned about the possibility of the injury being a lingering problem, and Edwards' track record may be the reason. Last season, Edwards missed most of camp because of a severe cut to his calf and went on to lead the Chargers with 151 tackles and five interceptions.

    Edwards was present at the team's training facilities, but he did not come out to the practice field.

    Schottenheimer said third-year linebacker Matt Wilhelm will get "considerable work" in place of Edwards.

    "Even though it's only a preseason game, it's a good opportunity for me to be in there with the starters and just show what I can do," Wilhelm said.

    Merriman, the Chargers' first-round pick out of Maryland, was on the sidelines Tuesday but did not practice because of injuries to his toe and hamstring.

    While Schottenheimer never gave a direct "yes" or "no" to the question of Merriman playing, his tense did it for him.

    "We would have liked to see him get a chance to play some, especially given the time that he missed," Schottenheimer said.

    Quick hits

    Unsigned TE Antonio Gates missed his 20th practice. His agent, Andre Colona, did not return a phone message. ... DL Luis Castillo (foot) is likely to make his Chargers debut against the Packers, said coach Marty Schottenheimer. ... With LB Ben Leber (ankle) still out, Shaun Phillips will see more action Thursday. ... The Chargers practice briefly this morning from 8-8:45 before departing for Green Bay.
     

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