Status TBD for the Chargers' Walking Wounded

Wednesday will be a telling day for the Chargers. Coach Norv Turner was evasive on Monday in saying which players he expected back Sunday when the Chargers try to rebound from a home loss by greeting the Miami Dolphins.

It appear center Nick Hardwick (ankle) will be down another game, which means Scott Mruczkowski would get his second NFL start at center.

Right guard Louis Vasquez (knee) could return to action, which would send Brandyn Dombrowski back to the bench.

Turner was pleased with how his backups responded, despite the Chargers dropping a 31-26 game to the Ravens. Dombrowski had one week to prepare for his first NFL start.

"I was very pleased with the way Brandyn Dombrowski handled the situations he had," Turner said. "He played with confidence."

Some are confident LaDainian Tomlinson will be able to return.

Tomlinson said when he sprained his ankle in the season opener at Oakland that it didn't compare with the injuries he suffered last year to his toe and groin. He was seen walking out of the locker room Sunday without a limp and could be back in the backfield come Sunday.


LB Shaun Phillips
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The Chargers, though, have to be concerned with groin injuries to outside linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun Philips. Both give the Chargers a push off the edge, although it's yet to be seen this season -- neither has one of the team's two sacks.

But if they are compromised with their burst off the line, that spells trouble to a defense which can't put any heat on quarterbacks.

Larry English, another pass-rusher and the team's top pick, has yet to reach the quarterback or supply any pressure in spot appearances. English's name was heard Sunday for all the wrong reasons when he was flagged for roughing the kicker.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Philip Rivers is coming off a career-high 436 passing yards and appears on his way to another productive season. With the running game still trying to find its legs, Rivers will be asked to carry the offense once again.

--RB Michael Bennett deserves another look after averaging 4.8 yards on four carries, with a long of 7. Bennett looked good early, then the Chargers went way from running the ball.

--RB Darren Sproles continues to produce yards all over the field. He went over the 200-yard mark for the second straight game by collecting 124 receiving yards, 26 rushing yards and 128 on kick returns. The Chargers have to be careful, though, not to wear the undersized Sproles out.

--TE Antonio Gates continues to look as healthy as he has been in two years after battling foot and ankle injuries. Gates had five catches for 78 yards.


WR Vincent Jackson
Jacob de Golish/Getty
--WR Vincent Jackson has taken over as the consistent deep threat for the team. Jackson had a sensational 35-yard touchdown catch and finished with six catches for 141 yards.

--WR Chris Chambers is trying to get back into the mix. He didn't have a catch in the season opener and had two catches for 30 yards against the Ravens. Chambers, though, was a target on a team-high 10 attempts.

--DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo has been asked to replace Jamal Williams, after Williams was placed on IR after one game. This is a drastic dropoff as Williams was a three-time Pro Bowler and the anchor of the team's 3-4 defense. Nwagbuo spent five weeks on the team's practice squad last season before making the team out of camp. He does have a sack this season.

--DE Vaughn Martin was going to be brought along slowly after being drafted in the fourth round out after playing his college ball in Canada. But with the Chargers' injuries along the line, Martin has been pressed into action; he had two tackles on Sunday.

--CB Antonio Cromartie is occasionally adding kick return duties to his responsibilities. Among the ways the Chargers are hoping to lessen the wear and tear on Darren Sproles is to relieve him of his kick return duties. Cromartie is replacing him.

--DE Luis Castillo registered a sack Sunday, half of the total the team has in two games. Castillo has but four sacks in the past two seasons after collecting a career-high seven in 2006.

--P Mike Scifres will take it easy in practice this week, after sustaining a strained groin leading into Sunday's game. Scifres is looked upon among the Chargers as a weapon more so as a punter with his precise punts which usually helps the Chargers win the field position battle.


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