The big news comes out of Chargers camp and how Antonio Gates looks like he won't report to the Chargers by the established noon deadline on Saturday. If he fails to report then the Chargers will reportedly suspend Gates for the final two-preseason games and the home opener against the Dallas Cowboys on September 11th. Gates is looking to get Tony Gonzalez type of money but the Chargers have refused to give in what has been a lengthy and unsuccessful negotiation.
Defensively a couple of things are sticking out for the Chargers. Opposite of Quentin Jammer it looks like Drayton Florence had shored up the other cornerback spot. He is getting ninety percent of the first string reps while making plays. Marty Schottenheimer's depth chart also sticks out a bit. First round draft pick Shawne Merriman sits on the third string since he's been nursing an ankle injury.
Up until Friday Merriman wasn't even on the depth chart. Although Merriman ended his holdout a lot earlier than expected the injury has set back the young linebacker. Merriman did practice impressively on Friday and he will see action against the Rams on Sunday. Ben Leber and Donnie Edwards both have returned to practice from injuries.
An older but wiser Mart Schottenheimer? Apparently so. Opposed to the ten two-a-day workouts in the first twelve days of Redskins camp in 2001, the Chargers have had only twelve double workouts in a 27-day period. The middle of this week practices have been slightly more intense with double workouts but only one of those were the Chargers fully suited.
The St. Louis Rams will come to San Diego on Sunday for a 1:00 local kick-off.
Injuries seem to be nagging the Broncos just a bit as they near the midway point of the preseason. Champ Bailey, Nate Jackson and Maurice Clarett will not play this Saturday against the San Francisco 49ers all still nursing injuries that have them less than full speed. Clarett has the groin problem while Bailey and Jackson have hamstring injuries.
Gerard Warren is expected to see action on the defensive line for the Broncos. Quentin Griffin and Roc Alexander could see some action but the most likely scenario has the two returning to get plenty of reps in the next preseason game.
Tight end Stephen Alexander left Broncos camp to be with his wife who went into labor. Shanahan expects Alexander back in time for tonight's game. Other than that the Broncos defense is a little excited at getting a crack at the number one pick overall Alex Smith.
Maurice Clarett did return to practice Thursday morning as his roster spot may be in jeopardy. Very simply he has to practice to be able to show Shanahan what he has. John Elway took a walk through Thursday workouts amongst a slight media frenzy and happy fans. The master seemed to give a little spark to the Broncos practice.
Denver breaks camp out of Dove Valley to return to the comfort of their beds. Denver and the 49ers will have a 7:00 local kick-off on Saturday night.
The Oakland Raiders have had one of the quieter camps this summer. At least they did until Randy Moss piped up about his past use of marijuana. With a little confusion in the media and HBO not commenting on the story until it airs has several media outlets swirling the controversy.
Moss said that he made the comments about his past and does not currently use the substance and he was taken out of context, but that hasn't stopped the barrage of speculation into the somewhat troubled past of Randy Moss.
Workouts with the Texans in Houston have one word to sum it up for the Raiders: HOT. Joint workouts before their game Saturday night at 8:00 pm. The workouts seem to be productive and a change of pace for Oakland.
Norv Turner seems excited so far with his defense that ranked dead last a year ago. The speed is there and with a solid defense the Raiders will be a hand full to any NFL team. Linebacker Sam Williams did tear his ACL-knee ligament in the workouts and he will be sidelined indefinitely. Grant Irons will fill his spot for now.
Jerry Porter did return to workouts for the Raiders and may see some action. Ronald Curry will sit this game out and will be expected to return for the next preseason game. Norv Turner expects that his first string will play the entire first half in tonight's game and this should provide a good sneak peak of how strong this offense can move the ball.
AFC West Report: No Lack of Story Lines
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