Plummer Back, So Is Flutie

The San Diego Chargers face the Denver Broncos this week at Mile High Stadium. A road game in a tough city will be a true test and barometer for this Charger offense or it could end up being just a fluke.

In San Diego:

The team looks to Denver, and to Doug Flutie as its starting quarterback.

The 41-year-old Flutie was sensational in Sunday's 42-28 win over the Vikings, and coach Marty Schottenheimer said Monday he's sticking with the hot hand. Flutie will get his second start of the season against the Broncos, and Drew Brees will remain on the bench.

"What drives me nuts is everyone talking about my age. I think you only talk about age if it's a factor. I don't think it's a factor in this situation, because I feel like my skills haven't diminished. I still feel like I have my speed and quickness and my arm strength. So as long as that is intact, who cares how old you are?" -- QB Doug Flutie, on how he started, and won, an NFL game at age 41.

"Let's face it," Schottenheimer said. "It was an outstanding performance overall. His ability to create was a significant part of our offense's performance."

Although Schottenheimer committed to Flutie for the next game, he declined to name Flutie as his starter for the final seven contests. But know this about Schottenheimer: he hates to switch quarterbacks. So it's safe to assume that if Flutie stays anywhere near as productive as he was Sunday, and avoids injuries, he could be behind center the rest of the way.

That would derail Brees' development, and cloud the future for the Chargers, but at this point Schottenheimer is bent on stringing together some wins before the curtain falls on a disappointing season. And his best chance of doing that is by sticking with Flutie, all 5-feet-10 and 41 years of him.

--Backup DE Raylee Johnson (foot) will be listed as doubtful for this week. Otis Leverette will see some time there, as will DT Dequincy Scott.

--C Jason Ball (ankle) has a chance to start practicing this week.

--C Cory Raymer (fractured hand) is believed to be OK for this week; that one is worth watching.

--TE Stephen Alexander (groin) will be activated this week, but Jason Peelle and Antonio Gates are ahead of him right now.

--Schottenheimer didn't sound optimistic about RT Solomon Page (ankle) going this week. Rookie Courtney Van Buren would replace him again.

In Denver:

Jake Plummer felt a little clumsy at times, but otherwise he reported Monday a success as he tested his left foot and right shoulder.

Though he will be listed as questionable on the injury report, Plummer sounded as if he were a definite to play Sunday against San Diego. That's good news for a team that went 1-3 without him.

"It felt good just to call plays, see the guys in the huddle, throw the ball ... and sweat a little bit and not be sitting on a bike while I'm doing it," he said after Monday's short practice session. "It was nice."

Plummer missed the Pittsburgh game because of a minor shoulder separation, which he re-injured against Kansas City on Oct. 5. He also suffered a stress reaction in his left foot in that Chiefs game, and then apparently broke the third metatarsal bone while getting up off the couch the following week.

He said X-rays show that the bones in his foot have mended.

"It's just a tolerance thing now. It's going to be painful for a few weeks, but when I'm in the game, adrenaline will kick in and I'm hoping I won't feel it at all," he said.

--FB Mike Anderson was suspended by the NFL Monday, but the team hadn't officially announced the move, so the amount of time Anderson will miss and the reason for the suspension was unknown.

--QB Jake Plummer practiced with the first team Monday, and aside from being a little clumsy with his feet, looked like he is ready to go after missing the last four games with shoulder and foot injuries. He remains listed as questionable and will have to play with some pain in his left foot, but bet on him starting this week.

--LT Ephraim Salaam returned after missing the past two games with knee surgery. He will start Sunday against San Diego.

--K Jason Elam acknowledged that had the Broncos had a game Sunday, he wouldn't have been able to kick. And though he didn't' do anything Monday, he would test the leg Wednesday. Elam strained his groin against New England.

--WR Ed McCaffrey did not practice Monday and will be listed as either questionable or doubtful because of a slight tear in his quadriceps tendon.

--LB Donnie Spragan was off crutches, but he still is unable to practice because of a high ankle sprain. Terry Pierce took his place in the starting lineup Monday. Spragan may try to go Wednesday.

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