Chargers will limp into Denver

September, 12, 2008
9/12/08
5:42
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Chargers released their final injury update of the week and they will be without two important offensive linemen. San Diego has several injury issues in what is now a critical game Sunday in Denver on Sunday.

Center Nick Hardwick (foot) and left tackle Marcus McNeill (neck) are out for the second straight week. Jeremy Newberry will play at center and L.J. Shelton will work at left tackle against Denver's young defensive front.

Also looming is the injury status of star running back LaDainian Tomlinson. He is listed as questionable with a turf toe. However, Tomlinson did practice fully Friday after sitting out the first two days of practice. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie was limited Friday after not practicing Wednesday and Thursday. He is listed as questionable as well. First-round pick Antoine Cason will spell Cromartie if he can't play. Cromartie suffered a hip injury in Sunday's loss to Carolina.

Tomlinson said this week he will play. San Diego would use Darren Sproles and rookie Jacob Hester if Tomlinson can't play. Denver's run defense, ranked 30th in the NFL last season, played well against Oakland. Tomlinson would be a major test for Denver.

Meanwhile, Denver's strongside linebacker Boss Bailey, who has an ankle injury, is expected to play sparingly. His replacement, Jamie Winborn, should also play some. At center, Casey Wiegmann continues to spell Tom Nalen who is coming back from tow knee surgeries. Nalen may be a couple of weeks from playing.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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