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Thursday, November 15, 2012
Chargers may be without Mathews, Gaither

By Bill Williamson

The chances are increasing that the San Diego Chargers will enter their pivotal game at Denver on Sunday without left tackle Jared Gaither and running back Ryan Mathews.

The two players missed their second straight day of practice Thursday. Mathews has a neck injury and Gaither missed last week’s game with a groin injury. Neither player is definitely out, but they must show some progress Friday to have a chance to play. San Diego linebacker Antwan Barnes was limited Thursday after not playing Sunday with a hamstring injury.

San Diego (4-5) trails Denver (6-3) by two games in the division. A loss would put San Diego behind by three games, and since Denver holds the tiebreaker, it would give an enormous lead in the division race with six games to go.

The Broncos are also dealing with a significant injuries. Defensive end Elvis Dumervil didn’t practice for the second day with a shoulder injury. Like Mathews and Gaither, odds are currently against him playing. Cornerback Tracy Porter continues to be out with an illness that has already cost him four games. Denver guard Chris Kuper was limited again by a severe ankle injury that kept him out of Week 10.

In other AFC West news:

Kansas City guard Jon Asamoah will not play Sunday at home against Cincinnati. He had surgery on his thumb and he will be replaced by Rush Hochstein.

Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said receiver Jon Baldwin has not been cleared to practice because of a neck/head injury he suffered at Pittsburgh on Monday. Defensive tackle Dontari Poe (knee) and receiver Dwayne Bowe (thigh) were both limited Wednesday, but both practiced fully Thursday.

John Elway talks about the difference between Tim Tebow fans and Broncos fans in an interview with USA Today.

ESPN Stats & Information looks into the Adrian Peterson-Peyton Manning Comeback Player of the Year debate.

ESPN’s experts make their Week 11 picks.

 UPDATE: The Denver Post reports Denver linebacker Von Miler was fined $21,00 for a low hit on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday. Miller has now been fined at least $84,250 in less than two seasons.