- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Larry English's NFL preseason debut will have to wait.
San Diego coach Norv Turner announced Friday that the first-round pick will not play Saturday night against visiting Seattle because of a hamstring injury. The injury isn't expected to be overly serious and English is being held out as a precaution. He may be able to play Aug. 22 at Arizona.
Inside linebacker Stephen Cooper also won't play Saturday night because of an ankle injury. Cooper's absence will allow veteran Kevin Burnett (signed this offseason as a free agent from Dallas) and Tim Dobbins to play together. Burnett and Dobbins are fighting to play alongside Cooper in the team's 3-4 defense in the regular season. Burnett may have the inside track on the job.
Meanwhile, Turner wouldn't say whether running back LaDainian Tomlinson will play Saturday, which would mark his first preseason action in four years. Tomlinson said this week there is a 95 percent chance he will play. Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman will likely play some against Seattle. Merriman hasn't played since having knee surgery after Week 1.
It wouldn't be a surprise if Merriman gets most of his preseason snaps Saturday because the Chargers' next two games are on the road and on different playing surfaces than San Diego's natural grass. The Chargers finish the preseason at home, but starters rarely play in the last preseason game.
2dEric D. Williams