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Chargers Camp Report: Murray Practices, James Involved in Team Drills


The Bolts got back to work Monday, but opted for a lighter day at Hoag Performance Center.

The Chargers practiced without pads for less than 90 minutes in preparation for Friday's preseason finale.

Here are five observations from the Chargers 17th training camp practice:

1. Murray returns to practice field

Kenneth Murray was taken off the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List on Monday morning, and the linebacker took part in his first practice of training camp.

Murray, a 2020 first-round pick, only took part in stretches and individual drills, but his presence was a welcome sight for the Bolts.

Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley said the hope is that Murray will be ready for Week 1, but time will tell on that.

"I think that there's definitely enough time for him to be ready for the season," Staley said before practice. "We're going to work him into individual [period] this week. I know he's excited to do that.

"Just making sure that we take a look at all the metrics, and then trust our eyes and what we see, and talking to him. We'll make sure that we ramp him up the right way and just be patient with the process," Staley added. "I think he can be ready for Week 1, but to what extent and how much? I think that remains to be seen. But we're really excited. I know he's worked really hard to get back. I'm really proud of him and super excited to coach him today."

2. James gets more involved

Derwin James, Jr., is ramping up his workload.

The All-Pro participated in team drills Monday, a step up from his involvement from last week.

James, who signed a multi-year contract extension Wednesday, had been going through stretches and individual drills since he inked his new deal.

Staley said last week the plan is to have him ready to go for Week 1.

3. Pipkins gets all starters reps at RT

Earlier Monday, Staley said the Chargers were getting closer to making a decision on the starting right tackle job.

Through the first 16 camp practices, Trey Pipkins III and Storm Norton had split reps at right tackle with the first-team offense.

That changed Monday as Pipkins took all the reps at that spot. This is worth monitoring, as is which player takes the reps in Tuesday and Wednesday's practices, plus who plays in Friday's preseason finale.

4. Focusing on punt coverage

The Bolts made punt coverage a focus of the session, which was likely expected after they gave up an 86-yard punt return for a score Saturday night against the Cowboys.

Gunners focused on getting a clean release and getting downfield, while the interior worked on breaking free of blocks and getting in position to make tackles.

5. Ending with a flourish

Monday's practice was short and crisp, but it ended with a high note in a 2-minute situation.

The offense started with the ball with roughly 50 yards to go and in need of a touchdown.

Justin Herbert hit Gerald Everett for a big gain down the middle that saw the tight end make a twisting catch in traffic.

After a completion to Jason Moore, Jr., that moved the chains, the Bolts offense soon found themselves in a fourth-down situation after solid defense from Nasir Adderley and Asante Samuel, Jr., on back-to-back plays.

But on fourth-and-medium from about the 15-yard line, Herbert connected with Keenan Allen on the left side of the end zone for six points.

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