Three to Watch: Chargers Injuries
Antonio Gates (Donald Miralle/Getty)
Antonio Gates (Donald Miralle/Getty)
Posted Aug 9, 2008

Will the San Diego Chargers have all the right tools in place to live up to what some are predicting as their best season yet? Fans, coaches and players sure hope so.'s Samantha Fillerup profiles three injured players and the likelihood of them making it back in time for opening day.

1. Antonio Gates suffered a toe injury during the 2007 postseason and missed the Pro Bowl as a result of it. He was a monumental part of the Bolts' offense in the early games last season as he became quarterback Philip Rivers' main target.

He has been running drills with the trainer, but appears to be weeks away from practicing and rates his recovery at 65-70 percent. WR Chris Chambers is already expected to continue a big workload, but if Gates can’t pull it together then Vincent Jackson will likely see more passes heading in his direction.

2. Nick Hardwick suffered a foot injury during the October 14 game versus the Oakland Raiders. He underwent surgery in the off season and is expected to miss the first month of the season.

Cory Withrow and Jeremy Newberry are rotating in the starting lineup at training camp and the better of the two will play for Hardwick.

3. Andrew Pinnock sustained a knee injury last season. He is not able to practice and it is unclear when he will be well enough to play. Last season he played 10 games and started three and stands a chance of starting in 2008.

Lorenzo Neal was released after the 2007 season and his duties as LaDanian Tomlinson's road paver will be delegated to Pinnock when he is healthy. However, until he is 100 percent Mike Tolbert will be stepping in for him.

Related Stories
Chargers' Player Wire: Injury Updates & More
 -by  Aug 4, 2008
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Three to Watch: Six-Year Veterans
 -by  Aug 20, 2008

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TE Antonio Gates (profile)
C Nick Hardwick (profile)
RB Andrew Pinnock (profile)
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