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Recap: Rivers Sits, Saints Top Chargers 13-7

Philip Rivers put in two productive days of work during joint practices with the New Orleans Saints last week in Costa Mesa.

There was no need for a third.

After orchestrating a touchdown drive on the team’s first offensive possession last weekend against the Seattle Seahawks, the 14-year veteran sat out Sunday as the Saints beat the Chargers 13-7 at StubHub Center.

Kellen Clemens started at quarterback in place of Rivers and played the entire first half. He finished his night 10-of-17 for 99 yards and was sacked four times. 

The Chargers’ first-team defense surrendered a 50-yard touchdown run to speedy rookie running back Alvin Kamara on the Saints’ first offensive play from scrimmage. The unit then settled down, allowing just 14 rushing yards on eight carries for the remainder of the half.

The play of the night was courtesy of safety Dexter McCoil, who intercepted a Ryan Nassib pass and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown to put the Chargers on the board in the fourth quarter.

Rookie defensive back Desmond King continued his impressive preseason with an instinctive tackle on a third down, resulting in a New Orleans punt. On the Saints’ next possession, King sacked quarterback Chase Daniel, who started Sunday’s game in place of Drew Brees.

Defensive end Melvin Ingram and safety Tre Boston also shared in a sack of Daniel. Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and linebacker Jatavis Brown led the defense with four tackles each in the first half.

Cardale Jones played the entire second half at quarterback for the Bolts and finished 7-of-15 for 61 yards and one interception.

NOTABLE ABSENCES

In addition to Rivers, starting offensive tackles Russell Okung and Joe Barksdale did not play in Sunday’s game. Starting cornerbacks Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett were also held out of action.

OHIO STATE REUNION

Five players from Ohio State University’s 2014 National Championship team shared the field Sunday at StubHub Center.

Chargers: defensive end Joey Bosa, quarterback Cardale Jones and linebacker Joshua Perry.

Saints: safety Vonn Bell and wide receiver Michael Thomas. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore, the No. 11 overall pick in 2017 NFL Draft, redshirted for the Buckeyes that season. Eleven-year veteran wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. — who did not play Sunday — also played his college football at Ohio State.

NEXT UP

The Chargers’ final public training camp practice is this Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Visit Chargers.com for more details.

The team will travel a short distance for its third game of the preseason on Saturday, Aug. 26th at 5 p.m. Pacific against the Los Angeles Rams.

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