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News » San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2008-09-19


San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2008-09-19


San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2008-09-19
LaDainian Tomlinson looked fast. He looked quick. He had the burst in that has made him one of the top running backs in NFL history.


But it all came after practice when he was joking with tight end Antonio Gates.

Tomlinson, who was restricted to 10 carries in Sunday's loss to Denver, didn't practice on Wednesday as the Chargers continue preparations for Monday night's visit by New York Jets.

While his teammates were practicing, Tomlinson was holed up in the trainer's room as San Diego's most famous big toe got plenty of attention.

"It's getting better, so that's all I got," Tomlinson said. "It's getting better that's all I can say."

Tomlinson said the toe, which he hurt in the season-opening defeat, is being treated by ice, electronic stimulation among other things.

"A little bit of everything," Tomlinson said. "Pretty much throwing the whole kitchen sink at it."

Tomlinson is encouraged that the swelling has decreased as the week gets closer to game time.

"It's going down now; there was a little bit after Denver (game), but it is going down now."

Coach Norv Turner said having Tomlinson sit out isn't about the team being safe.

"Nothing to do with precaution," Turner said. "If he could run, L.T. would be out here running. Obviously, this is like a Wednesday of a normal game week, so we'll see where he is tomorrow and Friday."

--The Chargers face the visiting New York Jets in San Diego on Monday, near the crossing of Interstate 8 and 15.

The game also features the Chargers reaching of crossroad where gut meets check.

How else to explain the Chargers' plight as the NFL enters Week 3 with the Chargers still seeking Win 1?

It's been two weeks of heartache for the Chargers -- losing on Carolina's last play in the opener and swallowing a tough last-minute defeat to Denver when referee Ed Hochuli should have swallowed his whistle.

But so it goes -- it's called the NFL, where there are absolutely no guarantees.

That goes for a team that has bragged about having the most talent in the league.

That goes for a team that is led by a coach whose long string of ineptness was interrupted last year -- a trend or an aberration.

That goes for a defensive unit that once pounded its chest. Instead, it just gets pounded -- see the 388 yards, on average per game, offenses are pasting on them.

The sky isn't falling out in San Diego but the floor is rising.

After the first flameout, the Chargers played the "it's a marathon not a sprint" card.

After the second toe-stub, the deck was reshuffled and the "we got a bum call" card was introduced.

All that's fine. But those explanations and about $4 will get you a grande soy latte. Otherwise, it's all about wins and losses and the Chargers have none of the former and two of the latter.

So before it gets much later, the Chargers need to rebound. Need to show they really do have championship credentials. Need to show they can not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

What the Chargers need to do is race away from those first two stinkers and focus on the Jets. Any NFL coach will tell you're anchored to the previous games, you will sink in the one coming up next.

"It should hurt and it should eat at you," quarterback Philip Rivers said of the shocker in Denver. "If you're a competitor and you care, it ought to eat at you and bother you. It's OK to still be sick about it but we've got to move forward to a home game against the Jets that will hopefully get us going."

Coach Norv Turner has said his piece about the shaky officiating in the loss to the Broncos and attempts to turn the page too.

"You're (miffed), and then you know that no matter what you do, it's not going to change that decision that's been made," said Turner, whose Chargers team last year started 1-3. "You have to move on. It's gone, it's gone. We get ready and we get started and going and it's not going to be a thought in my mind because my mind says how do we prepare to play our best football game on Monday night?"

That answer will come under Qualcomm Stadium's bright lights. The Chargers are eager to show they still belong among the NFL's elite teams. But they realize time is running short to prove it.

SERIES HISTORY: 31st meeting. Chargers lead series, 18-11-1, and won the last matchup in 2005 when the Chargers prevailed in the Meadowlands. But that was merely a game that brought with it a small dose of revenge with the Chargers still smarting from the previous meeting. That came in the 2004 playoffs when the heavily favored Chargers fell to the visiting Jets in overtime, 20-17. It was one of the most heartbreaking losses in the playoffs for the Chargers; the loss helped eventually get then-coach Marty Schottenheimer fired.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 19, 2008

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