Chargers without 3 defenders

BY foxsports • December 12, 2009

San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman was one of three defensive starters inactive for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns because of injury.

Free safety Eric Weddle (knee) and defensive end Luis Castillo (calf) were also out as the Chargers (8-3) tried to win their seventh straight game.

Merriman has been slowed by a foot injury. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Larry English, who will be making his first career start. Alfonso Boone will start for Castillo, and Steve Gregory, who has made two starts at strong safety, will fill in for Weddle.

The Browns are already without four defensive starters: Kenyon Coleman, Shaun Rogers, D'Qwell Jackson and Eric Barton. Rogers, Jackson and Barton are out with season-ending injuries.

Cleveland cornerback Eric Wright, who didn't practice Friday because of an injured hamstring, was active and expected to play.

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