AFC West: Korry Sperry

Antonio Gates is out

November, 22, 2010
11/22/10
7:55
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- San Diego superstar tight end Antonio Gates will not play Monday night against Denver. It was determined he was unable to play effectively because of a foot injury.

It is the second straight game Gates will miss after playing in 94 straight games.

Mike Tolbert is expected to start at running back for San Diego. As expected, rookie running back Ryan Mathews is out with an ankle injury. He didn’t practice all week. Both Tolbert and Mathews have 382 rushing yards.

Receiver Legedu Naanee remains out with a hamstring injury. Patrick Crayton takes his place. Current No. 1 receiver Malcom Floyd is returning after missing several games with a hamstring injury.

Because of the injuries at tight end and running back, San Diego has signed Korry Sperry (tight end) and Curtis Brinkley (running back) off the practice squad. Both players are active Monday night. Backup tight end Kris Wilson is also inactive, so expect to see a lot of Randy McMichael in both phases of the offense.

For Denver, cornerback Andre Goodman (hip) is out as is linebacker Robert Ayers (foot). Ayers may be getting close to playing. Denver running back Laurence Maroney is inactive for the second straight game. He was acquired from New England in September for a fourth-round pick.

Because of a recent San Diego State game, there are big patches of rough grass at heading toward the East end zone.
  • Meanwhile, in other AFC West-related news, Oakland coach Tom Cable confirmed that starting defensive end Trevor Scott did tear the ACL in his knee and he is out for the season, as expected. He was hurt on a special teams play Sunday in a 35-3 loss at Pittsburgh.
  • The Buffalo Bills are unsure if linebacker Shawne Merriman will play the rest of the season because of an injury. Sound familiar, Chargers’ fans? Buffalo claimed him off waivers last month. He was cut in San Diego because he couldn’t stay healthy. Merriman is a free agent at the end of the season.
The Denver Broncos are finally getting their health back.

Denver, which has been ravaged by injuries this summer, saw the return of running back Correll Buckhalter, cornerback Champ Bailey, receiver Demaryius Thomas, linebacker D.J. Williams and guard Chris Kuper. They are all on pace to be ready for the season opener Sept. 12 at Jacksonville.

The most significant news may come Wednesday when he team expects left tackle Ryan Clady to return to practice. Clady has been out since April with a torn patella tendon while playing basketball in April. The team is hopeful he can play by the start of the regular season. If an All-Pro player can be ready for the Jaguars, it will be a huge boost for Denver's offfense.

Rookie quarterback Tim Tebow is still not practicing with a rib injury that has kept him out of action since last Wednesday. It is unclear if Tebow will be ready to play Sunday against Pittsburgh.

McDaniels said linebacker Akin Ayodele was cut Tuesday because Mario Haggan is being moved back from outside to inside linebacker. Because Ayodele is going to be backup, the team thought it was better to keep a backup who can help more on special teams. Ayodele did start Denver’s two preseason games.

Meanwhile, Denver claimed tight end Kory Sperry off waivers from Miami. The Colorado State product was previously with San Diego. Denver also cut tackle Tyler Polumbus, who has struggled often this summer.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The San Diego Chargers signed 18 undrafted free agents.

There's not a lot of household names here, but maybe one or two will be a surprise and make the 53-man roster:

Samuel Allen, T, Grand Valley State
Darry Beckwith, LB, Louisiana State
Curtis Brinkley, RB, Syracuse
Greg Carr, WR, Florida State
Jeremy Childs, WR, Boise State
Anthony Felder, LB, California
Dan Gay, T, Baylor
James Holt, LB, Kansas
Rashaad Jackson, NT, Clemson
Charles Martin, WR, West Texas A&M
Ryan McDonald, C, Illinois
Ben Muth, G, Stanford
Wopamo Osaisai, CB, Stanford
William Rentmeester, FB, Wisconsin
Rodgeriqus Smith, WR, Auburn
Kory Sperry, TE, Colorado State
Claude Spillman, S, Marshall
Jerimiah Wurzbacher, TE, North Dakota State

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