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TE Gates, RB Mathews sit out practice

Antonio Gates has 40 receptions for 663 yards and nine touchdowns.
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Adam Caplan

Adam Caplan is our newest NFL reporter/insider at FOXSports.com. He has spent the past 10 seasons covering the league, specializing in player personnel, injuries and contracts.

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The San Diego Chargers were hoping to get some of their injured players back for Monday night’s game against the visiting Denver Broncos. However, that might have been a bit too optimistic.

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Rookie RB Ryan Mathews (ankle-doubtful) missed practice for the third straight day Saturday and is not expected to play. Mathews has been dealing with a lingering high ankle sprain for most of the season. Look for FB Mike Tolbert to handle most of the carries in the game. Veteran RB Darren Sproles figures to be used as a change of pace and could see time in passing situations.

Starting WR Malcom Floyd (hamstring-probable) practiced Saturday and is expected to play. Since he missed three games due to a partially torn hamstring, conditioning could be a factor, so it remains to be seen how much playing time he’ll be able to handle. WR Legedu Naanee (hamstring-doubtful) was held out of Saturday’s practice and is not expected to play. The fourth-year pro has missed the past four games. Rookie WR Seyi Ajirotutu is listed as his backup by the team.

Starting TE Antonio Gates (foot-questionable) missed his third straight practice on Saturday. He has not practiced since tearing the plantar fascia in his right foot. Unless Gates can participate in pregame warm-ups and work out well, veteran TE Randy McMichael will start for him again. No. 3 TE Kris Wilson (back-questionable) didn’t practice Saturday. If he’s unable to play, the team could sign TE Kory Sperry off the practice squad.

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K Nate Kaeding (right groin-probable) practiced for the third straight day Saturday. The team did not cut veteran K Kris Brown, so it’s possible that Kaeding is held out of the game just to be safe. The Chargers have until 4:00 p.m. ET on Monday to make a roster move.

Starting SS Steve Gregory (shoulder-doubtful) didn’t practice this week and is not expected to play. Fourth-year S Paul Oliver will start for Gregory for the fifth time this season.

Tagged: Chargers, Antonio Gates, Steve Gregory, Ryan Mathews

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