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A growing list of injuries didn't prevent the Chargers from a spirited practice on Monday at Chargers Park.
One of practice's highlights was the nine-on-nine scrimmage, which was won by the defense. Rookie LB Mike Nixon continued his impressive showing and spearheaded a strong effort that left the offense with little room to run.
With Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles stuffed at every turn, Philip Rivers tried to get the ball to his backfield mates through the air. Unfortunately, Mathews continued to struggle as a receiver out of the backfield and dropped an easy pass with nothing but green in front of him.
Mathews redeemed himself later with a nice catch on a play-action pass, but it's clear he has a lot of work to do on his hands.
Malcom Floyd endured a couple of tough plays. On one, he watched Eric Weddle cut in front of him for an interception. On the other, he dropped a ball on a hitch route that could have provided big yardage.
Floyd had his usual highlight-reel moments, as well, leaping to catch a ball between Antoine Cason and Donald Strickland.
While Floyd is locked in as the No. 1 receiver until Vincent Jackson returns, the race for the No. 5 spot is wide open. Seyi Ajirotutu made his case for the job again on Monday.
On one play, Ajirotutu ran a perfect out route before catching a pass from Billy Volek, just tapping his toes down before going out of bounds. On another, he ran a slant over the middle and hauled in another Volek offering. Ajirotutu finished without a drop.
During the full-squad scrimmage, Kris Wilson and Randy McMichael split time as the No. 2 tight end. But it was McMichael who attracted the most attention from Rivers, schooling Steve Gregory and moving the chains at will.
During one-on-ones, Jonathan Crompton looked much more comfortable than he had in recent practices. Although he was intercepted once by Quentin Jammer, the rest of his passes were on-point.
Crompton had several impressive throws on Monday that showed why the Chargers like him as a developmental project. Among the beneficiaries of those throws were Jeremy Williams, Gary Banks and Josh Reed.
--Newcomer Cameron Stephenson particpiated in practice. He wore the No. 75 of the recently retired Corey Clark.
--Second-year guard Tyronne Green spent some time at left tackle. The Chargers are thin at that spot with Marcus McNeill holding out and Tra Thomas recovering from minor knee surgery.
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