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O-Line Out to Prove Last Week was No Fluke
The Chargers’ offensive line was the biggest question mark heading into last Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Minus three starters, the unit was comprised of Kevin Haslam and Reggie Wells at tackle, Louis Vasquez and Rex Hadnot at guard and Nick Hardwick at center. The group responded with arguably its best game to date, allowing only one sack against the NFL’s number one defense.
Now the line will get a chance to prove that performance was no fluke.
Head coach Norv Turner announced today the same five players will most likely start on Sunday when he addressed Mike Harris’ injury situation. Harris returned to practice fully today after being limited yesterday because of the high ankle sprain that kept him out of last week’s game. But Turner said he doesn’t anticipate him returning to the starting lineup this week.
“He was full in terms of being able to practice,” he said. “I don’t know if he’s ready to go play yet. We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow. I would assume that we would play this game like we did last week.”
Following Sunday’s win against the Steelers, Turner was pleased by the unit’s performance but still saw ways it could improve.
“What matters is the end result,” said Turner. “When we go in and break the film down, we have a lot of work to do if this is the group that will be playing next week. We have a lot of work to do to get better and get ready for Carolina. I care about the end result. We were productive with that group. It was a real challenge. I think they all handled it very well.”
While the offensive line was productive from a pass protection perspective, it did struggle in the run game. The Chargers averaged only 2.6 yards per attempt, rushing for just 94 yards on 36 carries. The hope is that with another week of practice under their belt to develop their chemistry, the unit will do a better job of creating holes for Ryan Mathews and company.
“The more we play together the better we’ll be,” Wells said immediately after Sunday’s game. “I’m proud of the way we played, but I know we can do an even better job.”