Robert Hanashire/USA TODAY

Weddle out; Gates questionable for Raiders

Might not be worth it to risk Antonio Gates.

When the Chargers play the Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday, they'll likely take the field with a few men back in the rotation, including left guard Orlando Franklin, left tackle King Dunlap and wide receiver Stevie Johnson.

It's a relief for the hobbled offensive line, which looks to finally be on the mend. For the first time since Week One, offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris had all his linemen practicing, and should get most starters back for Rivers and Co. when the team plays its first divisional game of the season.

Not all news is good news, though.

Tight end Antonio Gates -- listed as questionable on the injury report -- reportedly has a sprained MCL, per Michael Gehlken of the Union-Tribune. Gates injured his knee on the final drive of the Packers game but remained on the field (though limited). The eight-time Pro Bowler has fought through a number of injuries in his career -- including hamstring, rib and foot issues -- but has never dealt with a knee problem until now.

It looks to be a game-time decision for Gates. Although there's a possibility he could play, the team may not want to risk further injury by putting him on the field too soon.

One starter will be on the sideline for sure, and that's safety Eric Weddle, who has been ruled out for the Raiders game. It's the first time Weddle will miss a game since 2009.

"We've always had the mentality of next guy up," defensive coordinator John Pagano said Thursday. "You hope to match [Weddle's] wits and playing ability with the play of other guys, but it's always hard when you don't have a Pro Bowl, All Pro player [like Weddle]. But the next guy steps up. Hopefully they've been watching and learning."

Linebacker Manti Te'o -- another starter on defense -- is listed as doubtful with an ankle injury. Expect rookie Denzel Perryman to see more playing time for the second consecutive game. Wide receiver Keenan Allen (questionable) practiced Friday for the first time this week since exiting the Packers game with a hip injury, and said he plans to play Sunday.


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