SAN DIEGO -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of San Diego Chargers training camp:
-- After missing three days of practice to attend the funeral services of his sister Pamela, tight end Antonio Gates was back on the practice field on Tuesday. Gates’ sister died on July 24 after a long battle with Lupus.
Gates said the Chargers excused him from practice and sent flowers to his sister’s funeral service in Detroit. Gates said there was no doubt in his mind he could take as much time as he needed to help his family deal with this tragedy.
"Since the day I stepped foot in this organization it's always been first class," Gates said. "I have the utmost respect for the organization for the love that's shown to me for the last 11, 12 years. And it's been no exception with the situation with my sister.”
Gates said he would be ready if called to play on Thursday, but it's unlikely the 33-year-old tight end will see any playing time against Dallas on Thursday.
-- Chargers coach Mike McCoy said his team has a good practice on Tuesday, as the players were suited up in full pads for a ninth straight day.
“It was outstanding work today,” McCoy said. “There was a lot of situational work at the end of practice that we had talked about for a couple days, and threw at the players today. There was some good execution.
“We grinded it out today. It was a physical practice, and now we’re going to start looking forward to playing an opponent now."
Asked about practicing in full pads for nine straight days, outside linebacker Jarret Johnson didn’t appear concerned about possible fatigue.
“It ain’t that bad bro,” Johnson said.
McCoy said he and his coaching staff will sit down Tuesday night and Wednesday to map out a plan on how to rotate players for Thursday’s exhibition opener against Dallas.
“I want to feel good, whether it’s 10 plays, 20 plays or 30 plays -- whatever I play -- want to feel good about those reps and have confidence going into the regular season,” Johnson said, when asked about his approach to preseason games.
-- Rookie offensive lineman Chris Watt appeared to suffer a head or neck injury midway through practice during team drills, and was replaced at right guard by Johnnie Troutman. McCoy said after practice that Watt was still being evaluated.
Offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger also did not practice on Tuesday. McCoy said that Ohrnberger was given a rest day. Receiver Vincent Brown (calf), cornerback Marcus Cromartie (unknown) and cornerback Brandon Flowers (unknown) also remain out. Flowers had ice wrapped around his left knee during practice. Offensive lineman Jeromey Clary remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
-- Up next: The Chargers will have a walk-through practice on Wednesday that is closed to the public.