Rivers Insists He Has No Health Issues

Trying to avoid their first four-game losing streak since 2003, the Chargers must wrestle with the visiting Raiders on Thursday in a battle for a share of the AFC West lead.

It's an eight-game sprint for the divisional title, with the Chiefs also tied with the Chargers and Raiders at 4-4.

The Raiders had their way with the Chargers last year, sweeping the series on their way to going undefeated in the division.

The Chargers are back into a corner after squandering their impressive 4-1 start and finding the .500 mark after losses to the Jets, Chiefs and Packers.

But the Chargers don't have time to ponder Sunday's defeat to the Packers, not with it being such a short week as they play their third game in 11 days.

"It's going to be all that you can imagine," quarterback Philip Rivers said. "We can't think about this game for too long, we have to get ready for that one. It will be a tough one."

Few are having tougher sledding than Rivers, who leads the NFL with 17 turnovers, which include an alarming 14 interceptions. Rivers continues to stress the dramatic drop-off in production has nothing to do with health issues.

"I appreciate everybody trying to come up with a theory and a reason but I'm not hurt," said Rivers, who threw three interceptions Sunday for the first time in his NFL career. "I've thrown a handful of picks that I normally don't throw and I'll probably throw some more throughout my career and there won't always be a reason why. Health is not an issue, it's never been an issue on any interception I've ever thrown in 18 years of football."

But Rivers, who did throw four touchdown passes on Sunday, is keeping a stiff upper lip.

"I'm not frustrated one bit; I'm excited about the next challenge. When you prepare, and you study, and you go and play as hard as you can, you can be disappointed, you just never can be satisfied. It's OK to be disappointed but you've got to move on to the next day."

That game comes quickly this week.

"We have a quick turnaround," said Turner, who is 13-11 in the team's last 24 games. "We got to go."

What the Chargers need to change is the direction they are heading. After Oakland, there's not much let up with a trip to Chicago and another AFC West game against Denver on the horizon.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

LINEUP WATCH: Cornerback Marcus Gilchrist replaced Antoine Cason in the starting lineup after Cason gave up three touchdown passes to Plaxico Burress in the loss to the Jets. But in the two games since, Gilchrist has been burned with regularity, and he gave up two more touchdown passes on Sunday. Look for Cason to regain his starting role, although it could come with a short leash.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Chargers have allowed an average of 138 rushing yards in their past four games, and that doesn't bode well when going into a game against the ground-oriented Raiders. The Chargers are starting two inexperienced defensive ends and they're often not keeping the blockers off the linebackers. And one of the starting inside linebackers, Donald Butler, is in his first year as a starter.

PLAYER NOTES

--RG Kris Dielman could return on Thursday after missing the past two games with a concussion.

--OLB Shaun Phillips (foot) is likely out for one more game. Phillips, it's believed, is pointing toward the Chicago game on Nov. 20 for his return.

--WR Malcom Floyd (hip) could be down for one more week. This being a short week doesn't help his cause.

--RB Ryan Mathews (groin) missed Sunday's game but could be back on Thursday. Before skipping Sunday's game, Mathews had been unable to finish the previous three games with three different injuries.

--LB Everette Brown, a former second-round pick of the Panthers, was signed last week but was inactive for the game. Brown was brought insurance in case Phillips is out for an extended period.

--OLB Antwan Barnes had a calf injury Sunday but it isn't believed to be serious.



What are fans saying about Sunday's loss? Find out inside the message boards.




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