- Eric D. Williams, ESPN Staff Writer
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SAN DIEGO -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of San Diego Chargers training camp:
Several veterans were given the day off for the Chargers on Friday, watching practice in jerseys and shorts from the sideline. The list included quarterback Philip Rivers; running back Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead; receivers Eddie Royal and Malcom Floyd; center Nick Hardwick; guard Chad Rinehart; linebackers Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson; tight end John Phillips; safety Eric Weddle and cornerbacks Richard Marshall and Brandon Flowers. Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said giving the older players a rest day served as a chance for younger players to get a lot of extra reps during practice. “I thought today was a perfect time for it because they’ve worked hard and deserve a break,” McCoy said. “And a lot of other guys have worked hard too, but I can’t rest everybody.”
A day after appearing to tweak his right ankle during pass-rush drills, defensive lineman Corey Liuget did not practice on Friday, wearing a walking boot on his right foot. McCoy said that Liuget has a foot injury, but did not provide a time table for Liuget’s return. “He’s fine,” McCoy said. “It’s just something we did. He’s got a little foot thing he’s dealing with, but he’s fine. It’s nothing serious.” Receiver Vincent Brown missed another day of practice with a calf strain, and cornerback Marcus Cromartie (unknown) also did not practice for a second straight day. Guard Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) remains on the active physically unable to perform list.
After two days of sitting out of the contact portions of team dills, cornerback Jason Verrett wore a red jersey and was allowed to participate in contact portions of practice on Friday. “He’s a competitor,” McCoy said. “And it’s a little reminder to him, because he’s so competitive. And I just want him to be smart. So it’s a reminder to him that he’s still getting to 100 percent.” McCoy went on to say that the team has time to get Verrett ready, and the most important thing is to get him into football shape. Verrett, a first-round selection by the Chargers in this year’s draft, had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in March and was cleared for full contact for the opening of training camp last week. However, the Chargers are taking a cautious approach to his return to the field. McCoy would not say if Verrett will play in the team’s first preseason game on Thursday against Dallas.
The Chargers were in full pads for a seventh straight practice on Friday, and will likely be in pads for an eighth straight practice on Saturday. “The big part of training camp is your start to establish the toughness of your football team,” McCoy said. “Because this is the way the game is going to be played. But then also I take into consideration we have to get them ready for the games too -- physically. So we’re going to beat up a little bit like they’ve done. They’ve worked extremely hard since last Saturday in pads. And then as we go -- I cut out the last period today -- I’m doing to reward them at times. The pads will come off at some time, but we’ve got a long ways to go. We’ve got to get in football shape.”
Up next: The Chargers will hold the team’s annual FanFest at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday. The parking lot opens at noon ET, with doors to the stadium opening at 12:45 p.m. ET for fans. McCoy said that the 90-minute practice will be more of a controlled scrimmage.
5dEric D. Williams