Posted September 12, 2012 on AP on Fox
While Ryan Mathews' possible absence may still plague the San Diego Chargers' rushing attack, another turnover-free effort by Philip Rivers could again help them overcome it. The Tennessee Titans might need Chris Johnson to get going regardless of who is under center. San Diego opens its home schedule Sunday seeking an eighth consecutive victory over the Titans, who could have Matt Hasselbeck back at quarterback if Jake Locker isn't healthy enough to go. With Mathews sidelined by a broken collarbone, the Chargers (1-0) ran 20 times for 32 yards in Monday's 22-14 victory at Oakland. Rivers settled for short passes - 30 of his 33 attempts went fewer than 20 yards - and completed 24 for 231 yards and a touchdown. The four-time Pro Bowler did not commit a turnover, which is a good sign after he had 25 last season, including a career-high 20 interceptions. "I've always tried to take care of the football and be smart but you have to be able to manage the situation," Rivers said. "... If you go back since I've been playing here and we don't turn the ball over, it's 90-something percent we win." Since Rivers took over the starting job in 2006, the Chargers are 22-3 when they don't commit a turnover. They are 36-11 during that stretch when allowing fewer than two sacks of Rivers, and he was sacked once Monday. Undrafted rookie left tackle Mike Harris had a strong game against the Raiders, according to coach Norv Turner, and could make a second straight start for Jared Gaither (back spasms). The team also signed guard-tackle Reggie Wells on Tuesday for depth. As for Mathews, who rushed for 1,091 yards in 14 games last season, he has yet to be cleared for practice. "We're continuing to evaluate him and hopefully it will be sooner than later," Turner said. The only AFC team with fewer rushing yards in Week 1 than San Diego was Tennessee, which ran for 20 in a 34-13 home loss to New England. Johnson had a career-low four yards on 11 carries. The Titans are hoping the former 2,00-yard back avoids a similar start to last year, when he was held to 366 rushing yards through eight games. They were 4-0 when he ran for more than 100. Tennessee, though, will face a Chargers defense that held the Raiders to 45 yards on the ground in that unit's first game under coordinator John Pagano. "We all know that the running game has to get better," said coach Mike Munchak, whose Titans had the league's 31st-ranked rushing attack in 2011. "We're not denying it. We're not trying to act like, 'Hey, we're OK.' We're not." Neither is backup running back Javon Ringer, who has been in and out of the hospital for treatment on an infection in his left elbow. Locker is questionable after hurting his left shoulder in the fourth quarter Sunday. Locker, who completed 23 of 32 for 229 yards with a TD and an INT in his first NFL start, had an MRI on Monday and is expected to split reps in practice with Hasselbeck this week. Hasselbeck, who went 6 for 11 for 43 yards after Locker left, started all 16 of the Titans' games in 2011, but Munchak's plan is to give the eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft another start if he's healthy. "If we still feel (Locker) can be productive, run around and do the things he needs to do to play the position, then we're going to be fine with him playing," Munchak said. "If for some reason he's not able to do those things, then we won't put him in a position that he shouldn't be in." Locker or Hasselbeck could benefit from having Kenny Britt back from a one-game suspension following an offseason DUI, and fellow wideout Nate Washington should be good to go. Washington, who caught a 29-yard TD from Locker in the opener, suffered a bruised leg after a hard hit, but Munchak didn't think he had any concussion-like symptoms. One player who missed the opener but should return Sunday for the Titans is defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (knee), and that could help a unit which gave up 162 rushing yards in Week 1. The Chargers, who went 5-3 at Qualcomm Stadium in 2011, have won four straight at home over the Titans organization and are undefeated in this series since a 27-0 loss at Houston on Sept. 27, 1992.

Ryan Mathews Likely to Play Sunday Against Titans

San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews will likely suit up against the Titans on Sunday after missing the team’s season opener with a broken collar bone. As reported by beat writer Kevin Accee via twitter, it “Appears Ryan Mathews will play on Sun vs. TEN. Limited in practice but did take some contact in team drills for 1st time since injury on 8/9″ Mathews told reporters...

Chargers' Mathews cleared for contact

Running back Ryan Mathews has been cleared for contact but was limited in practice as the San Diego Chargers continued preparing for their home opener Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Mathews has been out since breaking his collarbone on his first carry in the exhibition opener on Aug. 9. Coach Norv Turner says Mathews looked good in practice Thursday. The Chargers don'...

Report: Chargers' Mathews takes contact in Thursday practice

San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews returned to practice on a limited basis on Thursday, and he was involved in contact for the first time since he broke his clavicle on Aug. 9, U-T San Diego reported. Chargers coach Norv Turner did not reveal much about Mathews status, but the fact that Mathews is participating in some contact drills in full pads suggests he might play...

NFL Must Change Blackout Rules When San Diego Chargers Retire Junior Seau’s Number Sunday

The San Diego Chargers are going to retire Junior Seau’s No. 55 jersey this Sunday in the home opener against the Tennessee Titans. It is a great gesture to the late Seau, who took his own life after enjoying one of the best careers in the history of the Chargers’ franchise. Unfortunately, many of the people and fans who watched Seau have some of his best seasons with the Chargers...

Jared Gaither likely out this week as well

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither will likely miss this week’s game and could end up being done for the season at some point. “Indications from inside the organization are that his back malady will keep him out of at least next week’s home against the Tennessee Titans,” wrote the Tribune. The Chargers are looking on the open market for...

Quentin Jammer will play with a cast

According to John Glennon of the Tennessean, the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer plans on playing with a cast on his broken hand this week. SDiego Union-Trib reports Chargers starting CB Q. Jammer underwent surg. for broken hand Tue, but expects to play w cast against #Titans. — John Glennon (@glennonsports) September 12, 2012 Jammer...

Broken hand to sideline Quentin Jammer?

Coming off a key division win over their rivals in Oakland on Monday night, the Chargers had reason to be happy today, even as one of their defensive starters received news that no player wants to hear, with cornerback Quentin Jammer diagnosed as having broken his hand during the contest. Although the normal course of action to treat such an injury would likely include plenty of...

Chargers Win Opener vs. Rival Raiders

Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers capitalized on mistakes instead of making them for a change. Rivers threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd and Nate Kaeding kicked five field goals to spoil Dennis Allen's debut as Oakland coach by beating the Raiders 22-14 on Monday night.

Oakland fumbles away chances to San Diego

Despite the new regime, it's the same old Raiders as mistakes lead to home loss against Phillip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers.

Enemy Intelligence: San Diego Chargers

Now that the Titans' opponent has played a regular season game this year, it's time for the return of Enemy Intelligence, where I watch prior action of the next opponent and highlight some things I think are important. The Titans play their first road game of the season this week in San Diego against the Chargers in the Bolts' home opener. The Chargers are coming off...

Notebook: Looking to Open in Rare Form

The Chargers aim to do something they have never done in the Norv Turner era: start a season 2-0. The challenge seems doable -- all it entails is a home win over a mediocre Tennessee Titans squad -- but San Diego must overcome some injuries and rediscover its offensive rhythm to make it happen.

San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders: Hero and Zero of the Game

The late Monday night game showcasing the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers was probably missed by fans of either team who reside on the East Coast as the contest ended after one in the morning. That was probably for the best as Oakland lost what looked to be a battle of ineptitude 22-14.Early risers might have been fooled initially by the final score into thinking it was...
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