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San Diego pregame look

8/25/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

SAN DIEGO -- Here are some issues facing the Chargers tonight as they host Seattle, on ESPN's Monday Night Football, in their third preseason game.

  • Philip Rivers: Rivers didn't play against St. Louis as a precaution last week. He will likely get some decent action tonight, which will probably be his final tune-up before the Chargers open the regular season Sept. 7 against visiting Carolina.

Rivers doesn't need a ton of work, but he needs some game-time work before facing the Panthers. Rivers needs to break a sweat this week after taking it easy in St. Louis.

  • Linebacker play: With star Shawne Merriman potentially out for a while with a knee injury and Stephen Cooper serving a four-game NFL suspension for violating the steroid policy, the Chargers need their linebackers to play well and get some action tonight. Players to watch include Anthony Waters and Derek Smith.

  • The rookies: Cornerback Antoine Cason, San Diego's first-round pick, and running back Jacob Hester, a third-round choice, have been outstanding in the preseason.

They are expected to play key reserve roles. Strong play from both tonight should bolster the team's confidence in them heading into the regular season.