INSIDE CHARGERS CAMP:
For the fifth time in their last six games, the Chargers will trot out an offensive line which is different from their opening day version.
Right tackle Shane Olivea has been bumped from his post, replaced by Jeromey Clary as the team heads to Kansas City to play the Chiefs this weekend.
Olivea exits one game after Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick rejoined the starting lineup after missing four games with a foot injury.
With Hardwick back last week, the Chargers rolled to a 32-14 victory over the Ravens. And while Clary saw some time at right tackle, most thought Olivea was just resting his balky back.
Instead, Olivea will try to stay warm and dry on the bench on what promises to be a chilly day at Arrowhead Stadium, a place where the Chargers have won once in their past 10 visits.
The Chargers are saying that Olivea is healthy, but that Clary is just playing better and deserves the chance after playing well in spot duty. Clary was a sixth-round pick last year and spent the season on the practice squad.
The work along the line will be critical in a noisy venue such as Arrowhead. Among the Chargers' troubles last year here in their loss was getting the right protection calls out.
INSIDE CHIEFS CAMP:
Brodie Croyle sounded Thursday like a young quarterback who didn't know if he'd be making his third NFL start on Sunday against the visiting San Diego Chargers.
The second-year Chiefs quarterback missed a second day of practice Thursday while resting his sore back, which was injured on the first series of last week's home loss to Oakland. Croyle gutted through the rest of that game without being as mobile or limber as he needed to be, but the Chiefs aren't sure whether they'll let him try that again this week.
If Croyle gets the OK to practice Friday, he might well start Sunday against the Chargers in a game the 4-7 Chiefs absolutely have to win to keep their dim playoff hopes alive. If he can't practice, the Chiefs will go back to veteran Damon Huard, who quarterbacked the Kansas City win over San Diego on Sept. 30.
How truthful will Croyle be in assessing his condition for the medical staff?
"I'm going to tell them I can go no matter what," he admitted Thursday. "It's basically going to be up to them to say I'm not 100 percent, or that I can go and be effective.
"I'm going to push it as far as they'll let me push it," Croyle added. "But I basically have to listen to what they say, and if they tell me that I can go, and it looks like I can go, I can. If they tell me that I can't, that sucks, but we'll just get ready for Denver.
"But I definitely don't want to go out there and not be 100 percent and hurt the team," he added.