Wildfires Force Chargers to Arizona

As Southern California went up in smoke, so did the Chargers' weekly routine. The team canceled practice on Monday and will fly to the practice facility of the Arizona Cardinals, where the Chargers will work for the rest of the week. Forty members of the Chargers organization have been evacuated their homes, including MVP LaDainian Tomlinson.

Although Qualcomm Stadium and Chargers Park have not been hit by the fires, the resulting poor air quality forced the team to relocate midweek. No decision has been made as to the potential relocation of Sunday's game.

The move invokes memories of 2003, when wildfires forced the Chargers to move a scheduled home game to Sun Devil Stadium in Arizona. Tickets were given away free while Arizona Cardinals players collected donations for the victims back in San Diego. The Chargers lost that game to the Miami Dolphins, 26-10, in Junior Seau's first game against his old team.

Prior to the 2003 game, several Chargers players spoke of wanting the win the contest to lift the spirits of downtrodden San Diegans. That squad lacked the talent to hang with the then-mighty Dolphins, but talent differential will not be an excuse this weekend. The Bolts are motivated to win one for their tragedy-stricken town no matter the venue.

The Houston Texans are already planning for a fluid week of preparation.

"There are some people that mentioned this morning about playing in Arizona, and it's been mentioned to me in the last hour that they may play Sunday night, may play Monday night, I don't know," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "I just know that we'll have to adjust. They'll figure out a time for us to play the football game."

The Chargers and the NFL will make an announcement regarding possible rescheduling later in the week.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. He has followed the Chargers for more than 14 years and covered the team since 2003.

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