It's possible, depending on Dombrowski's health that Gaither could start despite being so new to the club. Or left guard Tyronne Green could be pushed outside, if he is fit.
--TE Antonio Gates, as expected, didn't practice on Thursday but will start on Monday. The Chargers routinely give Gates an off day during the week so not to tax his foot injury.
--OLB Shaun Phillips (foot) was sore from his extended play on Sunday but he was able to practice on Thursday. He should start on Monday, barring a setback.
--DE Luis Castillo (leg) didn't work and is out at least two more weeks.
--WR Malcom Floyd (hip) practiced for the second straight day and indications are he will return to start opposite Vincent Jackson. Floyd hasn't played since Oct. 31 and hasn't started since Oct. 23.
--WR Vincent Brown could see his playing time decrease if Floyd returns. Regardless, Brown showed well during his big chance and he should still see the field - especially if Floyd's hip becomes fatigued as the game matures.
--RB Ryan Mathews wore a sleeve on his left knee, but was moving well during practice and took all his reps.
GAME PLAN: The Chargers need to have the defense win a game for once, as the offense is having trouble showing any consistency - or points. Defensively, the opportunity is there to be aggressive against the NFL's worst offense and rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The Chargers were too conservative last week in making sure Tim Tebow didn't expose open lanes. But there's no reason to sit back this week and contain the pocket - the defense needs to show that with Shaun Phillips back and Antwan Barnes revealing a team-high six sacks that it's finally time to force turnovers and score defensively, or at the least, give the offense some short fields to work with.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Chargers run defense, which has been rocked of late vs. a Jaguars running game that features the AFC's leading rusher in Maurice Jones-Drew. The Chargers allowed 208 rushing yards in last week's loss as this part of its defense has consistently been weak all season. At least that side of the ball is relatively healthy and it will need a better performance in trying to stop Jones-Drew. He's rushed for at least 84 yards in 10 of the 11 games and had 99 last week. With a jittery rookie quarterback not expected to beat you with the pass, the secondary needs to squeeze the line tight and stop the run - for once.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers, who has been battered with leaky pass protection vs. a Jaguars pass rush that has 20 sacks in the last eight games and at least two in seven of the last eight. People wonder what's wrong with Rivers and among the reasons is that he is taking a beating every week behind a makeshift line. Only two opening day starters will be up front and it's possible third-stringers could be playing at left tackle and left guard - not good. The Jaguars get after passers - they have 23 sacks on the year, ninth in the NFL. RDE Jeremy Mincey (team-high 4.5 sacks) could get a confused left tackle in Jared Gaither, who just joined the team this week. RT Jeromey Clary has been struggling on the other side and he could draw LDE Matt Roth (3.5 sacks) although Roth's availability isn't certain because of a concussion.
Some good news for the offensive line
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