SAN DIEGO – A year ago, the Chargers’ offense was operating with several spare parts.
San Diego won’t be forced to deploy a makeshift unit for as long of a stretch this season as the bye coincided more favorably with the team’s health, allowing
“I’m really a little bit surprised we’re playing as well as we are right now with all the moving parts we’ve had in the passing game and all the different defensive players (injured). We’ve played so many guys,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “It could be a situation where we didn’t have the record we have (4-1). I hope we can get all our guys back, and then I think we’ll get a little better rhythm.”
Mathews and Tolbert, who have combined for more than 1,000 scrimmage yards this season, each left the Chargers’ last game in Denver with injuries. Though Head Coach Norv Turner did not reveal their status after Monday’s practice and the team is not required to release a participation report until Wednesday afternoon, Turner said before the bye week he expects both his feature backs to be available in New York. That might not have been the case had San Diego played Sunday.
The bye also gave recent defensive acquisitions
San Diego plays a unique schedule in the next month, with 14 days between the Denver and New York games, eight days between the New York and Kansas City games, six days between the Kansas City and Green Bay games and four days between the Green Bay and Oakland games. The coaching staff and players got their biggest physical and mental rest of the season at the beginning of that stretch, which also allowed for extra preparation ahead of the abnormal logistics.
PREPARING FOR LT: The Chargers are handling preparations for former San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson just like they do for every potential impact player: studying how he’s being utilized and figuring out the best way to counteract that.
No longer a starter, Tomlinson has been a force catching the ball. He’s averaging a career-best 13.1 yards per reception as the Jets’ third down back and is on pace for nearly 600 receiving yards, which would be the second-best mark of his career (2003).
“They have a specific package they’re using when he’s in the game. They’re spreading you out,” Turner said. “He’s still playing awfully well as a receiver and he’s hit some big runs. We’re just trying to zero in on the things they’ve done when he’s in the game. But from an emotional standpoint, we’re getting ready for the Jets (like any other team).”