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L.T. returns as Chargers practice at Qualcomm

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20060805-1636-fbn-chargerscamp.html">Associated Press</a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    SAN DIEGO – LaDainian Tomlinson returned to practice Saturday, and it might be the only time in August he carries the football at Qualcomm Stadium.

    Tomlinson worked a day after sitting out with a sore neck. He was hurt Thursday night when he collided with defensive end Igor Olshansky.

    "Everything's good," Tomlinson said after the Chargers practiced in front of several thousand fans. "It's not real serious anyway. It doesn't hurt to go out and practice. People made it to be a big deal but it wasn't really a big deal at all."

    Then again, with untested Philip Rivers taking over at quarterback, anything that happens to the Pro Bowl running back is going to raise eyebrows.

    Tomlinson almost always sits out exhibition games, so odds are fans won't see him when the Chargers host Green Bay next Saturday and Seattle on Aug. 26.

    The Chargers open the regular season Sept. 11 at Oakland, and their home opener is Sept. 17 against Tennessee.

    Fans saw two plays they may never see again at Qualcomm Stadium.

    Philip Rivers finished off the practice on a goal-line play by turning his back to the line of scrimmage and lobbing the ball over his head to All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates in the end zone.

    "We'd probably only use that for two-point conversions," coach Marty Schottenheimer joked.

    "It's kind of just a fun deal," Rivers said. "I don't know if it'll ever be seen, but it was something to do. Especially in that tempo. It wasn't real game-like."

    At the very least, it proved that Gates, a former college basketball star, can catch anything.

    "The problem was me judging how far to throw it over my head," Rivers said. "It's a little lighter than a basketball."
    Earlier, Nate Kaeding kicked a 60-yard field goal. His career-long is 53 yards at Atlanta as a rookie in 2004.

    "I tell you what, that was huge," Schottenheimer. "I just loved it. It almost brought tears to my eyes, to be honest with you. He's an outstanding kicker, we all know that. I put it downwind; I didn't know we were going to go back to 60. I think it was just a spur-of-the-moment decision. He nailed them all."

    Kaeding's long kick was on the opposite end of the stadium from where he pushed a 40-yard attempt wide right in overtime of a playoff loss to the New York Jets on Jan. 8, 2005.

    The last time Rivers was at Qualcomm, he was filling in after Drew Brees hurt his throwing shoulder in a loss to Denver in a meaningless season finale on Dec. 31. Brees needed surgery and was allowed to leave as a free agent, making Rivers the starter.

    "It was good to get back out here," Rivers said. "The last time I was out here, I wasn't too happy when we left the field.

    "I thought we had a good day," he added. "We got to get out there in somewhat of a scrimmage format, which is good – hey, made some mistakes, did some good things. Again, I think we're growing. I think we're on pace. We'll be where we need to be."

    The Chargers were 9-7 and third in the AFC West last year. They'll be trying to get back to the playoffs for just the second time in 11 seasons.

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