Bolts Tackle Defensive Issues

DE Luis Castillo (Getty/Joseph Robbins)

The Chargers promise the missed tackles are a thing of the past. That was among the rally cries at practice this week after Sunday's defensive meltdown in Green Bay. To a defensive man, the Chargers swear they will tackle better against the Chiefs on Sunday.

"That's not the way we play, missing tackles and not being as physical as we can possibly be," said Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman. "That not us at all. We've done everything in our power to change that. Let it be known that the San Diego Chargers are not going to play that way."

The Chargers, with the No. 22-ranked defense, need to bounce back against the Chiefs. In Green Bay, the Chargers' shoddy tackling was one of the reasons Greg Jennings took a slant pass 57 yards for the game-winning score, right through the heart of the Chargers' defense.

"We should know how to tackle," said Merriman, who had but two assists on tackles in Green Bay. "That's something we got into each other during the week and after the game. It's something that we will correct."

Being sure-handed is a must against an offense featuring a hard-running Larry Johnson -- his hamstring-willing -- rugged tight end Tony Gonzalez and physical wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.

PLAYER NOTES

--ILB Matt Wilhelm sat out Thursday's practice with a calf injury. He won't play Sunday and will be replaced by Carlos Polk. Tim Dobbins will see some action, too. Polk and Dobbins have struggled in filling in for Wilhelm.

--WR Vincent Jackson wasn't able to do all the drills with a sore back. He should go on Sunday.

--DE Luis Castillo (foot) was back working a full practice for the first time this week.

--C Quentin Jammer (headache) was back working after skipping Wednesday's practice.

--WR Eric Parker (toe) is out. Rookie Craig Davis replaces him in the lineup.

--LG Kris Dielman (foot) continues to work.

--RG Mike Goff (knee) continues to work.

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