SAN DIEGO -- A signal that center Rich Ohrnberger will not be active on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, the San Diego Chargers signed offensive lineman Ryan Miller from the practice squad to the active roster on Saturday.

To make room for Miller, the Chargers released cornerback Richard Crawford. A University of Colorado product, Miller was added to San Diego’s practice squad on Nov. 11 after a workout during the team’s bye week.

Miller was drafted in the fifth round by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 draft. He appeared in eight games for the Browns as a rookie. Miller went to training camp with the Denver Broncos, but was released during final roster cuts.

With Ohrnberger questionable for Sunday’s game against the Rams due to ankle and back issues, rookie Chris Watt is slated to get his first career start at center. Miller could serve as depth at interior offensive line, along with center Trevor Robinson, with Watt starting.

Crawford signed with San Diego on Oct. 27 after the team released cornerback Richard Marshall. But Crawford was not active on game day for the Chargers during his time with the team.
Good morning.

In his weekly picks column, Bill Simmons of Grantland picks the St. Louis Rams over the San Diego Chargers. Even worse, Simmons says he doesn’t think the Chargers will win a game the rest of the season.

Simmons: "The Chargers have scored 54 points total since Week 6; they can’t block anyone. And they have the 31st-ranked defensive DVOA. Which brings me to my Crazy Proclamation of the Week: I don’t think San Diego wins again this season. They go STL, @Bal, NE, DEN, @SF, @KC. In the words of James 'Baby Doll' Dixon, I wish them a lot of luck."

In this ESPN Insider piece Insider, ESPN NFL handicapper Dave Tuley notes that the Chargers have not covered the spread in their past five games. He passes on the Rams-Chargers game, but would take San Diego in pool play.

ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner reports that St. Louis will be without defensive tackle Alex Carrington, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, receiver Damian Williams and cornerback Marcus Roberson. Also, defensive end Chris Long likely will not be activated from injured reserve for Sunday’s game.

More Wagoner: He provides three things to watch for from a Rams’ perspective.

Joe Lyons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers a nice profile on Eric Weddle.

Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego quotes Weddle saying this about the final six games: "Now it’s a six-game bloodbath."

Sterling Sharpe, Brian Billick and Shaun O’Hara of the NFL Playbook say they like the Rams over the Chargers in this video.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com offers his keys to San Diego-St. Louis game.

Steve Hartman and Mike Costa of Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio talk with Charger center Nick Hardwick, who says the offensive line needs to do a better job of getting a vertical push to create running lanes in this audio link.


I talked with Dan Sileo of The Mighty 1090 AM radio about Sunday’s San Diego-St. Louis game in this audio link.
SAN DIEGO -- Center Rich Ohrnberger did not practice for the entire week due to ankle and back issues, and is listed as questionable by the San Diego Chargers for Sunday’s contest against the St. Louis Rams.

If Ohrnberger can’t play, rookie third-round draft selection Chris Watt will get his first career start.

The Notre Dame product says he’s prepared to anchor San Diego’s offensive line if his name is called this weekend.

“Where I’m at now is way different from where I was at at the beginning,” Watt said. “When you get all of those reps and you get to see different defenses at the position, and when you get a lot of reps with the ones with Philip [Rivers], you kind of learn the game a lot faster. Being with Phil is great because he can really make it easier for you.”

Watt will see a familiar face in front of him in St. Louis defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The two faced each other annually in college when Watt played guard at Notre Dame and Donald was at Pittsburgh, so there will be no surprises.

“I know how he plays,” Watt said. “He’s very good. Last year we were able to take him out of the game at Notre Dame, because it’s college football and you can kind of slide to that guy every time. You can’t do that here because everybody’s good.

“He’s a very good player. He uses his leverage very well. And he’s a very smart player. It’s definitely going to be a good challenge for us.”

Along with Ohrnberger, safety Jahleel Addae remains questionable with a concussion. Addae was a full participant in practice on Friday.

Defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers did not practice all week, and has been ruled out with an elbow injury. That means Sean Lissemore, who returned this week from a quad injury, likely will return to the starting lineup. Lissemore was a full participant in practice, and is listed as probable for Sunday.

Quarterback Philip Rivers (chest) and cornerback Steve Williams (hamstring) both fully participated in practice and are listed as probable.

Looking in good spirits, rookie cornerback Jason Verrett was at practice on Friday after having surgery this week to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Verrett is on the injured reserve for the rest of the season, but the expectation is that the TCU product will remain around the team as he works through his rehabilitation, and hopefully be healthy once the Chargers begin the team’s offseason conditioning program in March.

“He is an employee of the San Diego Chargers, so this is his job,” Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said. “In all seriousness, he’ll be here. And he’ll do what he needs to do in the meetings. He’ll prepare. He’s still a young player that has a lot to learn.”
SAN DIEGO -- Similar to their close win over the Oakland Raiders last week, Sunday’s matchup between the San Diego Chargers and the St. Louis Rams should be a low-scoring game dominated by both teams' defenses. With the Chargers playing better defensively against a St. Louis offense that is not very explosive, the Rams will have trouble scoring on the road.

San Diego also could struggle moving the football facing an attacking St. Louis defense that’s pretty good at stopping the run.

However, I’m going with the better quarterback in Philip Rivers at home. The Chargers have won seven of their last eight home games. In those eight games, Rivers has completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,026 yards, with 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions for a 110.0 passer rating. San Diego is 9-4 at Qualcomm Stadium since 2013.

Also working in San Diego’s favor is the fact that teams directed by Rams head coach Jeff Fisher are 0-7 against the Chargers in his head coaching career. Although they have only played in San Diego four times, the Rams have not won here since 1975. St. Louis also has lost six of its last eight road games against AFC West foes.

The Rams are the start of a tough stretch of games the Chargers face to finish out the season.

“It’s a playoff mindset from here on out,” Rivers said. “Not that it hasn’t been (in the past), but it’s natural as you get to this point of the season. You can’t be blind and not realize that’s what we have ahead of us.”

My prediction: Chargers 17, Rams 14
SAN DIEGO -- A look at where the San Diego Chargers rank against the St. Louis Rams and in the AFC West heading into Week 12 in our weekly stat check:

POINTS SCORED
Chargers: 17th (21.8)
Broncos: 5th (29.3)
Chiefs: 12th (24.1)
Raiders: 32nd (15.2)
Rams: 27th (18.5)

Quick-hit thought: Chargers are averaging 13.5 points a contest in the last four games, which according to ESPN Stats & Information is the worst in the NFL.

POINTS AGAINST
Chargers: 6th (19.2)
Broncos: 16th (22.4)
Chiefs: 2nd (17.1)
Raiders: 27th (26.5)
Rams: 25th (25.8)

Quick-hit thought: John Pagano’s defense has given up a total of 24 points in the first quarter this season.

THIRD-DOWN OFFENSE
Chargers: 4th (64-of-139, 46.0 percent)
Broncos: 10th (57-of-130, 43.8 percent)
Chiefs: 3rd (60-of-125, 48.0 percent)
Raiders: 30th (47-of-140, 33.6 percent)
Rams: 25th (47-125, 37.6 percent)

Quick-hit thought: Chargers are 7-of-26 (27 percent) on third down the last two games.

THIRD-DOWN DEFENSE
Chargers: 29th (59-of-130, 45.4 percent)
Broncos: 6th (54-of-150, 36.0 percent)
Chiefs: 3rd (44-of-125, 35.2 percent)
Raiders: tied-26th (65-of-145, 44.8 percent)
Rams: 18th (51-122, 41.8 percent)

Quick-hit thought: San Diego finished 3-of-15 on third down against Oakland last week to move out of the NFL cellar in this category.

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL
Chargers: tied-13th (plus-1, 10 takeaways, 9 giveaways)
Broncos: 12th (plus-2, 12 takeaways, 10 giveaways)
Chiefs: tied-19th (minus-2, 8 takeaways, 10 giveaways)
Raiders: 32nd (minus-12, 8 takeaways, 20 giveaways)
Rams: 23rd (minus-3, 13 takeaways, 16 giveaways)

Quick-hit thought: The Chargers forced their first turnover in four games against the Raiders.

RED ZONE OFFENSE (based on TD percentage)
Chargers: 12th (17-of-29, 58.6 percent)
Broncos: 1st (24-of-31, 77.4 percent)
Chiefs: 3rd (23-of-33, 69.7 percent)
Raiders: 2nd (12-of-16, 75.0 percent)
Rams: 21st (13-of-25, 52 percent)

Quick-hit thought: Chargers failed to get into the end zone the one time they were inside the 20-yard line against Oakland.

RED ZONE DEFENSE (based on TD percentage)
Chargers: tied-28th (18-of-27, 66.7 percent)
Broncos: 18th (19-of-33, 57.6 percent)
Chiefs: 2nd (13-of-31, 41.9 percent)
Raiders: tied-7th (20-of-40, 50.0 percent)
Rams: tied-7th (14-of-28, 50.0 percent)

Quick-hit thought: With the return of Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu to create more pass rush, the Chargers should continue to improve in this category.

TIME OF POSSESSION (OFFENSE)
Chargers: 7th (31:37)
Broncos: 20th (29:51)
Chiefs: 10th (30:53)
Raiders: 32nd (26:16)
Rams: 17th (30:18)

Quick-hit thought: San Diego returned to dominating time of possession by holding the ball for over 34 minutes against Oakland.
Good morning.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego writes that rookie Chris Watt possibly making his first start at center against a pretty good defensive line in the St. Louis Rams could be an adventure for the Chargers.

However, according to Krasovic, Watt has shown quick feet and an ability to move defenders off the line of scrimmage in limited duty at center through the first 10 games.

It will be interesting to see if starting center Rich Ohrnberger can return to the practice field this week.

ESPN NFL Nation Rams beat writer Nick Wagoner reports linebacker James Laurinaitis and guard Davin Joseph returned to practice on Thursday for St. Louis after sitting out Wednesday to rest injuries.

I talked with Jordan Beane of Chargers.com about Sunday’s contest in this video.

ESPN NFL analysts are split right down the middle on the San Diego-St. Louis matchup.

Kyle Posey of Bolts from the Blue takes a closer look at adjustments John Pagano made defensively against Oakland.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland takes a look at what could be a crowded 2015 free agent running back class that will include Ryan Mathews.

Michael Wagaman, writing for ESPN.com, reports on Oakland’s first win this season over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night. If the Chargers defeat St. Louis on Sunday, they move into a tie for second place with Kansas City in the AFC West.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com talks with Raiders owner Mark Davis, who says that 99 percent of the team’s efforts are going toward getting a deal for a new stadium completed in Oakland.

Joel Corry of the National Football Post writes that Junior Seau is the best bet to become a first-ballot Hall of Famer in this year’s class.

Dan Sileo of The Mighty 1090 AM radio interviews Chargers general manager Tom Telesco about his team in this audio link.

Steve Hartman and Mike Costa of Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio talk with Keenan Allen about his heated exchange with Philip Rivers on the sideline last week in this audio link.
video

Field Yates recommends a player to start and sit for Week 12.

Chargers vs. Rams preview

November, 21, 2014
Nov 21
8:00
AM ET
video When: 4:05 ET, Sunday Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego TV: Fox

SAN DIEGO -- To remain in the AFC playoff conversation, the San Diego Chargers (6-4) have to keep stacking wins.

But the Chargers face a tough test with the St. Louis Rams traveling to San Diego for a Sunday afternoon game.

The Rams (4-6) have a losing record, but manhandled the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos in a 22-7 victory last week. St. Louis plays with relentless effort, led by one of the most aggressive defensive fronts in the NFL.

In addition to defeating Denver, the Rams have wins over the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, and the San Francisco 49ers this season.

A point of emphasis for San Diego will be doing a better job of protecting quarterback Philip Rivers, who is dealing with a chest injury. The Chargers know they have to play their best in order to get a win over the Rams.

"They have the characteristics of a typical Jeff Fisher team," Rivers said, referring to the Rams coach. "They're just tough, hard-nosed and relentless."

ESPN NFL Nation Rams reporter Nick Wagoner and Chargers reporter Eric D. Williams preview the game:

Williams: Nick, Austin Davis completed 63 percent of his passes and had an 85.1 passer rating as a starter. Why did Fisher make the switch back to Shaun Hill? And what's the difference between the two signal-callers?

Wagoner: The simple answer is turnovers. More specifically, the kind of costly turnovers that killed the Rams in close games. Davis threw four pick-sixes, with all of those coming in the fourth quarter. He also coughed up a couple of fumbles that were returned for touchdowns. That's six touchdowns Davis was responsible for. When you're a team built to win with defense, it's hard to do that when you give up points without the defense on the field. Hill is more of a steady hand and has a stronger arm to go with his vast experience. The Rams' defense is starting to come into its own. And with that group rolling, the Rams need a quarterback who can manage the game. As I like to put it, the Rams' defense is playing well enough to win. They need a quarterback leading the offense, so it plays well enough not to lose.

Since we're on the topic of quarterbacks, much is being made of Philip Rivers and this flap with Antonio Gates, and Rivers' health. What's your take on Rivers' status? And if he's not hurt, then what is the reason he went from an MVP candidate to someone who has struggled in recent weeks?

Williams: Rivers clarified his injury status this week, saying he suffered a chest injury falling onto the ball during the fourth quarter of Sunday's game on a sack by Khalil Mack. Rivers said he's been dealing with general soreness, like all players, this time of year, and clarified that Gates' comments were an attempt to protect his quarterback from criticism for his uneven play the past four weeks. Inconsistent pass protection and a lack of a running game have been more of a contributing factor to Rivers' struggling performance of late. Since starting the season 5-1, Rivers has completed 63 percent of his passes for 788 yards, with 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He's been sacked nine times, posting a 76.0 passer rating. The Chargers are 1-3 during that stretch.

Nick, what did St. Louis do defensively to limit Peyton Manning and the Broncos to just seven points last week?

Wagoner: It was a combination of things, including some schematics from defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that tricked Manning into a couple of mistakes. And let's be honest, it didn't hurt that tight end Julius Thomas and receiver Emmanuel Sanders missed big chunks of the game. But the biggest thing here is this defense is finally playing as well as expected. We all underestimated (myself included) that it would take this group a little while to adapt to the many wrinkles in a Williams defense. For the first part of the season, the Rams played much slower defensively than anticipated. Now, it seems everyone is settled in and playing fast and aggressive. Leading the way is a front four that has been as dominant as people would expect. End Robert Quinn and tackle Aaron Donald are legitimate difference-makers, and they have solid depth beyond them. But they also have a linebacker in Alec Ogletree and safety T.J. McDonald who are legitimately playing at a Pro Bowl level over the past three weeks. That's not hyperbole, and I can't believe I'm saying it, but it's true. The Rams' defense was expected to be a top-five group this year. It's finally playing like one.

Eric, in perusing the stats and the film, it appears the Chargers' defense has had its struggles both on third down and in the red zone. Is there anything you can put your finger on with their issues in those two key areas, and what should the Rams expect from the San Diego defense right now?

Williams: You're correct. The Chargers are No. 29 in third down efficiency (45.4 percent) defensively, and tied for No. 28 in red zone efficiency (66.7 percent). San Diego's issues in those areas have been a result of poor tackling and a lack of a consistent pass rush. But with the return of edge rushers Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu, along with inside linebacker Manti Te'o, the Chargers were much better against Oakland, holding the Raiders to 3-of-15 on third down and keeping them out of the end zone. Along with the improved athleticism, the Chargers have to play assignment-correct football in those two critical areas for the team's success on defense to continue.

Nick, I know you follow the stadium situation closely in St. Louis as well, something we're also dealing with here in San Diego. What's the latest in terms of St. Louis working to keep the team there, and do you believe there's a realistic chance the Rams could be playing in Los Angeles next season?

Wagoner: It's the billion dollar question right now, isn't it? We've reached the point where there's a new rumor every day. It can be difficult to parse through what's real and what's not. I try to talk to as many people as I can about this, and to be honest, I really think every option is on the table. I wouldn't be surprised if they moved, and I wouldn't be surprised if they stayed. But it's going to be awfully difficult for them to move in 2015. I'm not convinced the league would allow it, especially with the local leaders in St. Louis working on a resolution. Former Anheuser-Busch president Dave Peacock is working diligently on trying to offer a solution, and he's not to be taken lightly. He's well respected in league circles, and the time for negotiations at the kiddie table have long since passed. The big boys will be having the discussions this time around. One other thing that's not being discussed enough is where the Rams would play if they did go to Los Angeles next year, and I don't mean a stadium on Sundays. I mean the day-to-day operations and practices. There's no obvious solution out there, and the longer things play out, the less likely one could be in place before then anyway. I wouldn't be surprised by either outcome long term, and I would be mildly surprised if the outcome turned into a move in 2015.

Sticking to that topic, the Chargers seem to be in a unique spot here because of their proximity to Los Angeles and the amount of business they get from that area. What's the latest from your end, and how likely is it they make the move? Barring that, do you believe they have the support from other owners to try to block a move by another team to protect their interests?

Williams: The Chargers are in discussions with San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer to put a proposal together that voters countywide could weigh in on as early as February 2016. But talks remain preliminary, and several of the stakeholders still need to have a say in order to build consensus for the project. Chargers president Dean Spanos remains committed to keeping the team in San Diego, but the family also is keeping its options open, which include possibly relocating to Los Angeles if the team is unable to get a stadium deal done in San Diego. The Chargers are on a year-to-year lease and could opt out of the agreement in February. The Spanos family is keeping a watchful eye on what happens in Los Angeles, with 30 percent of its business originating from the Orange County area. It's tough to say how much sway Dean Spanos could have in blocking a team from relocating to Los Angeles, particularly with the NFL pushing the move. The bottom line is the Chargers want to remain in San Diego but any stadium proposal has to make sense financially, and relocating to a more lucrative market in Los Angeles remains a possibility.

video
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers could be starting their fourth center this season against the St. Louis Rams.

Starting center Rich Ohrnberger missed his second straight practice with ankle and back issues Thursday. Ohrnberger is still wearing a walking boot after injuring his ankle against the Oakland Raiders last week, and has been dealing with a nagging back issue for most of the season.

Rookie Chris Watt, who has played center this season as an injury replacement during games, would get his first career start if Ohrnberger can't play Sunday.

Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said he feels comfortable with Watt starting at center if Ohrnberger can't go. Watt has been rotating with Johnnie Troutman at right guard. But if Watt starts at center, Troutman would play the entire time at guard.

"Here we are going into 11 games into his rookie year, and it's the old adage that he's no longer a rookie," Reich said about Watt. "He's proven himself. He's tough. He's smart. And I look at him like he's been here 10 years. You know that's not true, but there's a side of it of that's how it feels. And that's how it has to feel for him."

Along with Ohrnberger, defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers missed practice for a second day in a row with an elbow injury. Safety Jahleel Addae was listed as a limited participant Thursday after a practice as a full participant Wednesday.

Chargers head coach Mike McCoy would not say if Addae suffered a setback. Addae has missed two games and been out three weeks since suffering a concussion Oct. 23 against the Denver Broncos.

"Just like every player, we're going to take them day by day, and see how they feel from day to day," McCoy said. "And we'll let them work accordingly. That's what we did with Jahleel today."

Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney returned to practice after taking a rest day Wednesday. Philip Rivers (chest), nose tackle Sean Lissemore (quad) and cornerback Steve Williams (hamstring) were full participants.
SAN DIEGO – Executing an opposing team’s offense in practice can be tedious at times, but the San Diego Chargers have an experienced hand helping them prepare for the St. Louis Rams in second-string quarterback Kellen Clemens, who spent three seasons in St. Louis, finishing 4-8 as a starter for the Rams.

Clemens
Clemens is very familiar with St. Louis offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s West Coast-based offense, having played in that scheme with the Rams and the New York Jets. Clemens also intimately knows the Rams’ personnel from his time in St. Louis.

“It’s huge for us,” Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano said. “For him to be able to stand in the huddle and say, ‘This is how this is run,’ or those types of things when he sees a play. He’s got his job to do, and he’s still got to prepare. But when he has the opportunity to look at the plays and talk to guys about certain routes, it’s always huge for that.

“But you can’t put too much into that. Regardless of him, we have to go out and play, and we have to go out and execute. And that’s the most important thing.”

Clemens also downplayed his role in getting San Diego’s defense prepared for Sunday.

“I think I can give them as good of a look as I can, up until this point,” Clemens said. “I know the offense. I know how they’re going to read it. I know how they’re going to try to attack it, and the adjustments they’re going to make.

“There’s little things that I can see while running the scout team in terms of how they’re going to run things. But a significant difference? I wish I could claim that, but I don’t think I can.”

Clemens a two-year, $3 million contract with San Diego as a free agent, and said he holds no bad blood toward his former team. Clemens said he looks forward to seeing old teammates and friends made while in St. Louis on the field before the game starts.

“I’ll be out a couple minutes early probably to get my warmup in,” Clemens said, smiling.
video

The NFL Live crew make their picks for St. Louis at San Diego.

Inside Edge: Rams-Chargers

November, 20, 2014
Nov 20
1:24
PM ET


video

ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando delivers stats to help you make a pick for St. Louis at San Diego.
Defensively, the St. Louis Rams made Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos’ potent offense look pedestrian in a 22-7 victory last Sunday.

The Rams harassed Manning into two interceptions, sacked him two times and had the Broncos on their heels the entire contest. St. Louis held the Broncos to 397 yards, including just 28 yards on the ground.

So how did they do it?

“It was a team effort,” Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said. “We ran the football, and Shaun [Hill] did a nice job of keeping the offense on the field through most of the game, with respect to third-down conversions.

Laurinaitis
“Our hope and intention going in was to do that – win time of possession and be able to run the football. And, of course, we got some pressure on him at times, and we came up with the two turnovers. And then I thought our special teams did a nice job with respect to covering kicks and field position.”

Added St. Louis middle linebacker James Laurinaitis: “We were aggressive on their short routes. We were able to affect Peyton pre-snap and post-snap. And really we just played fast. The challenge is how can we play fast again here this week against a very similar offense – with some differences – but very similar scheme-wise.”

Laurinaitis said a point of emphasis for his defense will be making sure to watch the ball and not anticipate Rivers’ cadence. Rivers coaxed four false-start penalties from the Oakland Raiders last week. Laurinaitis said Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league at drawing defenses offside.

“Being an aggressive defense, we definitely have to be cognizant of that, because if we’re not, those are easy yards,” Laurinaitis said. “And it’s not only the 5-yard penalty, because a lot of times it’s similar to Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, when somebody jumps offsides, most quarterbacks go up top.

“Philip does a lot more deep shots and deeper passes that we need to be very aware of. Peyton was a lot more timing stuff and anticipation. Philip has the arm strength and just really the guts to throw it deep. He goes up top to [Malcom] Floyd a whole bunch, and we have to be disciplined in the back end.”

Fisher said Rivers’ anticipation and ability to direct the offense at the line of scrimmage makes San Diego’s offense tough to stop.

“He sees so well and makes good decisions,” Fisher said. “He’s accurate, and he’s got a good group around him. I think the offensive line is playing well. They’re giving him time. I’d say they’re doing more things just from a formation standpoint that kind of puts stress on the defense.

“They create matchups. And with the up-tempo, he’s usually putting them in the right situation all the time, run or pass. I think he’s doing a lot more on the line of scrimmage than he has in the past.”
Good morning.

ESPN’s NFL playoff machine is up and running as we head into Week 12. And with the San Diego Chargers at 6-4 and on the outside looking in if the postseason started this week, there are several scenarios that could find the Chargers back in the playoff hunt if they play well during the final six weeks of the regular season.

Here’s one scenario that has the Chargers getting in at 10-6 and travelling to Indianapolis to face the 11-5 Colts in the AFC Wild Card game. Take a look at the playoff machine today and let me know your playoff scenarios in the comments section.

According to Mike Beuoy and Reuben Fischer-Baum of FiveThirtyEight.com, the Chargers have a 12.8 percent chance of reaching the postseason.

Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post believes it will be hard for San Diego to make the playoffs because of a tough remaining schedule.

According to his agent CJ LaBoy, Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett had successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder on Wednesday, and expects a full recovery.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com ranks Philip Rivers No. 5 on his QB index.

Andrew Brandt, writing for Sports Illustrated, explains why hiring the right NFL head coach is the best buy in football.

Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano breaks down a successful third-and-1 stop by his defense against Oakland in this video.

Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego writes that linebacker Kavell Conner played well against the Raiders.
SAN DIEGO -- Antonio Gates was right, to a point.

Rivers
The San Diego Chargers listed quarterback Philip Rivers on Wednesday’s injury report with a chest injury. Gates told reporters after his team’s win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday that Rivers had been playing with a severe rib injury for three or four weeks.

Gates later backed off of those comments a day later on Monday, stating his words were taken out of context. Chargers coach Mike McCoy did not confirm that Rivers had a rib injury, saying his quarterback was healthy.

McCoy maintained his position after practice on Wednesday.

“He had a great practice today like the last 11 weeks,” McCoy said. “He didn’t miss a snap. He had a great day’s work.”

Asked if there was any change in Rivers physically, McCoy had this to say: “He looked great out there today at practice. He’ll play on Sunday.”

Rivers did his best to clarify his injury status after practice, stating he suffered the chest injury falling on the ball while being sacked by Khalil Mack in the fourth quarter against the Raiders this past Sunday. Rivers has started in 138 consecutive regular-season games, a streak that is second only to Eli Manning of the New York Giants.

“Unfortunately it was more made of it than he intended it to be,” Rivers said about his teammate’s comments. “I think as a buddy he was trying to give a compliment, and it ended up being, ‘Oh, what’s the matter.’ So I can honestly say there’s nothing going on that’s hindering me in any way. There’s a lot of guys in that locker room that are playing, that are a lot sorer than I am.”

Rivers also was asked about his trademark toughness, saying that was learned as a kid growing up playing for his father, Steve Rivers, back in Alabama.

“Growing up around it, my dad always said unless you can’t walk, you find a way to play -- or find a way to get off of the field,” Rivers said. “That was the main thing -- don’t lay out there on the field. So I found my way off a few times on Sunday.”

Center Rich Ohrnberger said the offensive line will continue to work to keep Rivers clean on Sunday against a talented St. Louis Rams’ defensive front.

“Week to week, we’re motivated to take care of him because when we do, he does an excellent job,” Ohrnberger said. “So I don’t think it matters what the circumstances are, or the team we’re playing. Whatever it is, our goal is to make sure he’s on his feet the entire game.”

Ryan Carrethers (elbow), Dwight Freeney (rest) and Ohrnberger (back, ankle) did not practice for the Chargers. Along with Rivers, Sean Lissemore (quad) returned to practice and was a full participant.

Safety Jahleel Addae also appears to have fully cleared the NFL concussion protocol. Addae was a full participant in San Diego’s fully padded practice on Wednesday.

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