Injury report: Secondary a primary concern

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
6:40
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- With the San Diego Chargers giving up a league-worst 341 passing yards a contest, defensive coordinator John Pagano needs as many healthy bodies in the defensive backfield as he can get.

However, he might have to do without starting cornerback Shareece Wright, who missed his second straight practice on Thursday with a hamstring issue. Wright also did not play against Tennessee last week because of the injury.

“It’s starts up front with our rush,” said Pagano, when asked about the issues with the secondary. “And then it starts in the back end about making plays, and that’s what it’s all about.”

If Wright can’t go on Sunday, Johnny Patrick likely will get the start at cornerback, with reserves Richard Marshall and Crezdon Butler ready to fill in.

“Those three guys have to step up and play,” Pagano said.

The Chargers face one of the best passing offenses in the NFL in the Dallas Cowboys. Quarterback Tony Romo is playing at a high level, completing 73.1 percent of his passes for 771 yards, six touchdowns and one interception.

Romo’s favorite target has been play-making receiver Dez Bryant, who has 17 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Romo’s security blanket, tight end Jason Witten, has 16 receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.

“Eighty eight wrecks games,” Pagano said about Bryant. “He’s a game wrecker, if you want to call him that. He’s big, physical and goes after the football. He changes games. We understand that. And we’ve got to be aware of that.”

Along with Wright, left tackle King Dunlap (concussion), left guard Chad Rinehart (toe), right guard Jeromey Clary (clavicle) and receiver Malcom Floyd (neck) did not practice for a second straight day.

Center Nick Hardwick (shin) and pass-rusher Dwight Freeney (not injury related) were limited participants.

Right tackle D.J. Fluker (concussion), along with middle linebackers Donald Butler (groin) and Manti Te'o (foot) were full participants.

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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