Chargers' duo hopes to play on Sunday

The trade became official on Wednesday when Keenan McCardell passed his physical. He then participated in the afternoon practice, welcomed by rainy conditions. The rain could play a role in whether he sees the field this week for the San Diego Chargers.

The Chargers will travel to Carolina this week to face the Panthers and they hope to be toting a new toy that they can unleash on the NFL, and specifically the Panthers, this weekend.

But the rain has prevented Marty Schottenheimer from getting an accurate read on his newest wide receiver. Keenan McCardell has been holding out since the beginning of the year and missed every sort of camp – from mini to training. While he has been working out with a few high schools, he has not been a part of an NFL camp in any way, shape or form since last year.

The rain on Wednesday pushed Schottenheimer to the edge of uncertainty. There is no debate on whether he wants McCardell to get into the game on Sunday but he is afraid of the cost. One part is picking up the offense and the other part is making sure he can take the physical beating.

Without a dry surface, Schottenheimer could not see McCardell running sprints or getting in and out of cuts, proving he was loose and in shape.

There is less speculation on Bobby Shaw, also added this week. On Shaw, there really isn't much of a question, though the coach remained noncommittal.

"Based on how quickly he can put it together, it is a definite possibility that they will both be active this week," Schottenheimer said.

He spoke of not rushing either player into the mix, but the Chargers need wins and Sunday's game is one of many left as they look to make a run at the playoffs.

McCardell says he is in peak physical condition and is ready to go. He has seen one practice and his mind is on helping the Chargers get wins.

"It was great to get back in it. You are right in the season so you have to prepare for the week."

A week he may or may not play in. The Chargers still have a two week roster exemption that they can play with, if needed.

While his coach is worried about his condition, McCardell admits the terminology is something that may take some time.

In the end, however, he believes he can make up for the lack of knowledge in the terminology department by beginning his leadership clinic in practice and his overall veteran presence. He has run the routes before and just needs to apply previous terminology to the new system.

"It is kind of Chinese because it is a new system," McCardell said. "You try and go out and hustle. You have to give 100 percent effort. That is what I was trying to do on everything today.

"Hopefully, I can master (the terminology) and make the coaches believe I am ready to play."

His goal is to show his wares on the field. That is what he was brought in here to do. Not sit on the sidelines. He even talked about "persuading" the coaching staff, but he would not elaborate on how he planned to accomplish that feat.

Shaw is equally willing and barring any setbacks he will surely see some playing time on Sunday.

"I am ready to go," he said.

Shaw has been in camp and has been practicing in the NFL which gives him an advantage. But he still has to overcome some of the same pitfalls as McCardell.

"I am just trying to make sure I get some of the offense down," Shaw said. It is just a matter of how much can I absorb of this offense. Know what I am doing so I can play at the level they are expecting."

He then quickly reiterated, "I am ready to play now."

The man throwing them the ball has never been so excited. Drew Brees smiled and smiled some more. He wasn't answering questions about whether he had to bounce back or if his game was a fluke. Instead the talk surrounded the newcomers.

And Brees was happy to oblige:

"What Keenan McCardell brings, what Bobby Shaw brings, that's awesome.

"To have those guys as well as Eric Parker, Kassim Osgood, Micah Ross and Tim Dwight – I think we have great depth."

It is just uncertain whether they will be available for Sunday's road game against Carolina.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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