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Chargers center Chris Watt likely to stay at center; Chris Hairston to RG against Bengals

Looks like Chris Hairston will fill in for the injured D.J. Fluker.

There was some uncertainty about the offensive line after right guard D.J. Fluker injured his ankle Sunday against the Lions.

Wednesday, there seemed to be a few answers.

After speculation that center Chris Watt might slide to right guard (a position he knows well) and backup Trevor Robinson would take over at center, it's more likely now that Watt will remain at the center position and offensive lineman Chris Hairston will fill in at right guard.

Hairston stepped in Sunday once Fluker left the game. He played about 25 snaps and seemed to be comfortable. There would be understanding if he wasn't; after all, this was his first time playing guard in an NFL game.

"It's all about preparing and being ready," Hairston said Wednesday. "I felt ready for it."

Hairston spent four seasons in Buffalo before coming to the Chargers this past offseason. He had 15 career starts, all of them as a swing tackle.

His offensive line coach in Buffalo, however, was none other than his offensive line coach now: Joe D'Alessandris, a man who is known for preparing his linemen to play all positions on the line.

Hairston said D'Alessandris helped him "learn to be a pro."

“He helped me learn what it is to take the craft serious, work on technique and everything that you need to," Hairston said.

My take:

I like this move. I think you need to let Chris Watt grow at the center position and develop a strong rhythm with quarterback Philip Rivers. If the two of them are going to build their relationship for years to come, let them start now. Watt had to move around quite a bit last season and this season he came in knowing he was the center. Take that away if you absolutely need to for the good of the line, but for right now, Hairston seems ready and capable. Of course, the game will be the true test.


These players did not practice Wednesday: Safety Jahleel Addae (ankle), right guard D.J. Fluker (ankle), WR-KR Jacoby Jones (ankle), guard Johnnie Troutman (forearm), OLB Tourek Williams (foot).

Limited were OLB Kyle Emanuel (shoulder) and CB Brandon Flowers (knee).

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