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Chargers sign Harris; Sanders on reserve

Posted Sep 28, 2011

The former Bears defensive lineman agreed to a one-year deal with San Diego and will fortify the defensive line. Safety Bob Sanders also will be placed on Reserve-Injured.

SAN DIEGO – The Chargers signed defensive lineman Tommie Harris to a one-year contract Wednesday and placed safety Bob Sanders on Reserve-Injured with a knee injury.

Harris, a two-time All-Pro, provides reinforcement along the injury-riddled defensive line. Luis Castillo (tibia) and Jacques Cesaire (knee) aren’t expected back for a period of time and the team was uncertain of Corey Liuget’s status this week (ankle).

Harris spent all seven of his NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears, making the Pro Bowl each year from 2005-07. He started double-digit games at defensive tackle every year until 2010, when he played in 15 games (six as a starter).

Harris made a career-best eight sacks in ’07. His Bears team lost Super Bowl XLI to Sanders and the Indianapolis Colts after the ’06 season. The Bears released Harris in February after he lost his starting job during last season. Indianapolis signed Harris in August but released him as part of final cuts Sept. 3.

Sanders was signed by the Chargers this offseason after seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He made 14 tackles in two games before being injured. Steve Gregory started last week in his place.

“All we wished for Bob was good health and hoped to turn him loose to do his thing, which was being one great, physical, highly-competitive player,” General Manager A.J. Smith said. “It didn’t work out for him or us, and we wish him the very best. He was with us a very short time, but made a positive impact with our team in many ways, and I’ll always appreciate that.”

The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 built a reputation with the Colts as one of the hardest-hitting players in the league, earning Pro Bowl selections in ’05 and ’07. The Associated Press made Sanders the fourth safety in NFL history to claim Defensive Player of the Year honors.  He recorded 96 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions that season, a year after he helped the Colts to their second Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

Sanders’ physical play forced him to the sideline due to injuries much of his career.  He has played in just 50 games in eight seasons.

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