Mathews, Phillips Likely Out Sunday

If the slumping Chargers are going to knock off the Packers, they'll likley have to do it without three of their top players: running back Ryan Mathews, guard Kris Dielman and outside linebacker Shaun Phillips.

The San Diego Chargers know two things: the Green Bay Packers are arriving on Sunday and a peak at their injury list doesn't make one smile like when saying "cheese."

Trying to shake off a two-game losing streak in their first home game in a month, if the Chargers are going to bounce back, they'll have to give the Packers their first loss of the season.

Good luck with that, especially with the Chargers going to be shorthanded.

Running back Ryan Mathews, who is seventh in the NFL in combined yardage, didn't practice again Thursday with a groin injury. Mathews is likely down on Sunday, or by the outside chance he does go, he likely won't be able to finish the game.

Outside linebacker Shaun Phillips, the Chargers' best pass-rusher, is out for Sunday. His foot injury has some suggesting he's pointed toward the Bears' game on Nov. 20 for his return. What is certain is he won't be chasing around the Packers' Aaron Rodgers this weekend.

"It's tough (playing without him)," inside linebacker Takeo Spikes said. "He's a big-play guy. When he's in there, he's going to get extra attention. That's one thing I could always count on, meaning there was one less person we'd have to worry about covering. But we have some pretty good guys here, and they're going to step up and fill in well."

Pro Bowl left guard Kris Dielman remains out with a concussion.

Wide receiver Malcom Floyd (hip) is also iffy, as he didn't go on Thursday, either.

Other than that, things are looking rosy for the Chargers, a team looking to rebound after one of the most disheartening losses in team history, coming Monday night in overtime against the Chiefs.

On that front, center Nick Hardwick spoke with the team Wednesday at a players' only meeting. The zest of the chat was the Chargers' goals they want to obtain are still there, and to continue to look forward instead of focusing on the last two games. In those contests, the Chargers not only lost but committed 25 penalties.

That said, they remain in a three-way tie with the Raiders and Chiefs for first-place in the AFC West. To keep pace, the Chargers must beat the world champs while the Raiders get the Broncos at home and the Chiefs have the Dolphins at home.

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