RB LaDainian Tomlinson (AP Photo)
LaDainian Tomlinson is nothing if not honest.
While a parade of Chargers were spinning the positive Monday -- in wake of the team's third loss in four games Sunday in Pittsburgh -- Tomlinson delivered a dose of truth serum about the team's dwindling playoff hopes.
"I think so, I really do," LaDainian Tomlinson said. "We are two games back. We are not out of it, but it's like blown opportunities we keep on talking about when we could have easily been tied with Denver right now."
The Chargers, at 4-6, are in a world of hurt. While their next three games are at home, they come against a surging Colts team, an improved Falcons squad and their biggest divisional foe, the Raiders.
After falling 11-10 to the Steelers, the sands in this season's hour glass are being depleted fast.
"And whenever you keep blowing opportunities, then at some point as they say, opportunities don't come about anymore," Tomlinson said. "It's like when the opportunity comes, you open the door and take it, and if you don't, it will pass you by and go to someone else."
So are the Chargers -- a team that once had Super Bowl dreams -- cooked?
"I wouldn't go that far to say we are done because anything can happen with six games," he said. "It does look slim, but we're not done yet."
So Tomlinson marches on, but he knows the Chargers are running short of time.
"To me you always got to think positive -- think positive and positive things happen," he said.
But the Chargers are absolutely, positively against the NFL wall.
Just ask L.T.
--It had to pain Chargers general manager A.J. Smith to see Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu all over the field in Sunday's win over the Chargers. Smith had a chance to draft Polamalu out of USC, but he traded down to select DBs Sammy Davis and Terrence Kiel.
--RB LaDainian Tomlinson said the team misses veteran FB Lorenzo Neal's experience. Neal was let go and replaced by undrafted rookie Mike Tolbert. The team thought Andrew Pinnock would replace Neal, but a knee injury derailed that idea.
--DT Jacques Cesaire said the defensive outlook has changed with Ron Rivera as coordinator; Rivera replaced Ted Cottrell two games ago. "When Ron came in, he kind of demanded a lot from us," said Cesaire, who had two sacks in the loss at Pittsburgh. "He said we were better and we would play better."
--Coach Norv Turner said he can't remember an offensive output like Sunday's. "I can't say I've been in a game where you had two possessions in the half."
--Unlike Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger apologizing to his teammates after a tough loss, QB Philip Rivers didn't follow suit. "I don't think they need to hear it," he said after throwing two picks and fumbling the ball in the end zone. "They know what it means to me, and to me there is no need to step up and say, 'I know I messed up.'"
--S Steve Gregory (neck) should return to action this week after missing one game.
--DT Luis Castillo (groin) underwent an MRI and he could be limited this week in practice.
--ILB Stephen Cooper returned to the game after hyperextending his elbow. He should go Sunday.
--CB Cletis Gordon (knee) remains a week away from returning to practice.
--CB Quentin Jammer was again bothered by cramps in the latter stages of a game. He should be fine this week, but it was the second time cramps have driven him to the bench in critical junctures of the game.