Antonio Gates (Nick Laham/Getty)
The excitement is building for the Chargers preseason opener, but some of the depth players aren’t up to full-speed, let alone the starters. Andrew Pinnock has yet to practice, but Darren Sproles is doing enough for both of them. Antonio Gates is still weeks away from being 100 percent, while Nick Hardwick will likely not see the field for a month into the season.SDBoltReport.com has your updates.
C Nick Hardwick
Hardwick (foot) could miss the season's first month after offseason surgery. The team is looking at Cory Withrow and Jeremy Newberry to carry the load the first month. Withrow took over for Hardwick for four games last year, and was OK. Newberry was brought in as a free agent and seems to have the upper hand in this competition. Unless Newberry falters, he should win the job.
ILB Anthony Waters
Waters could return Monday after his recent knee surgery. The team was hoping Waters could compete for some significant playing time.
QB Philip Rivers
QB Philip Rivers took off his first practice on Friday, as the team takes it easy with his surgically repaired knee. "That was the plan all along,'' Turner said. Rivers, and the coaches, seem to think he has more arm strength this camp.
DT Jamal Williams
Williams, entering his 11th season, has returned to team drills after sitting out the first week of camp to rest his knees.
ILB Stephen Cooper
Cooper is getting most of the first-team snaps, although he will miss the first four games. As the team gets closer to the season opener and game-planning specifically for the Panthers, Derek Smith will see more action.
K Nate Kaeding
Kaeding was on his game when the Chargers practiced at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday. He converted all six of his field-goal attempts, including a long of 55 yards.
WR Vincent Jackson
Jackson looks like he is building on his fast finish last year, catching nearly every ball thrown his way.
TE Antonio Gates
Gates (toe) is running with the trainer in drills, but still appears to be weeks away from practicing.
RB Andrew Pinnock
Pinnock (knee) has yet to practice and it's a mystery when he might play in an exhibition game.
RB Darren Sproles
Sproles continues to impress with the quickness that he is hitting the hole, then shifting into another gear in space. His best play of the week was in Saturday's practice at Qualcomm Stadium when the 5-foot-6 Sproles raced some 90 yards on a punt return for a touchdown.