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Battered Chargers practice without several top players

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Another week, another group of stars sitting out San Diego’s practice.

Among those not practicing Wednesday was running back LaDainian Tomlinson. He didn’t play against Baltimore with an ankle injury.

Linebacker Shawne Merriman also didn’t practice Wednesday. He has a groin issue. He didn’t play San Diego’s final two defensive series in the 31-26 loss to the Ravens. Merriman said Sunday he didn’t think the injury was serious.

Four starting offensive linemen didn’t practice. Leading the group was center Nick Hardwick, who is out for eight weeks after having ankle surgery Wednesday. Guards Louis Vasquez (knee) and Kris Dielman (illness) and left tackle Marcus McNeill (illness) didn't practice. Vasquez didn’t play against Baltimore.

Safety Eric Weddle was also out of practice because of an illness.

Defensive lineman Travis Johnson didn’t practice with a groin injury. He didn’t play against Baltimore. He is expected to help at defensive tackle as the Chargers try to replace star Jamal Williams, who is out for the year with a triceps injury.