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Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Rivers: No magic for goal-line issues

By Eric D. Williams

SAN DIEGO – Quarterback Philip Rivers still appeared a bit annoyed to have to answer questions about the San Diego Chargers' struggles scoring from the goal line this season.

"You just got to score," he said. "There's not going to be any magic that we dream up here in the next, few days. We've just got to score, find a way to score. It's really nothing more than that."

Keenan Allen
Phillip Rivers missed Keenan Allen on third down -- forcing the Chargers to settle for a field goal.
The Chargers failed to get into the end zone from a yard out on three straight downs for the winning score against the Washington Redskins last week, a contest the team lost in overtime, 30-24.

For the season, according to ESPN Stats & Information, the Chargers are a league-worst 2-of-11 from a yard out.

San Diego's goal-line struggles remained a hot-button topic on local sports radio shows, the internet and even nationally, with Michael Wilbon of ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption" saying San Diego's coaching staff was guilty of the worst play calling in the history of the NFL in the team's final three plays at the 1-yard line.

Rivers is ready to put the issue to rest.

"Those are all things for talk shows, to be honest with you," Rivers said. "If I had the answer, we'd score. So we're going to keep playing each week. That's why you play the game, is to try and score the next time. It's not just, ‘Oh, we just figured out the play. We'll get it there next week.' Scoring, and getting first downs and throwing completions, there isn't really an answer to it. If there were, we could just do interviews, and we could decide the outcome of the game without going out there."

The team's leading rusher, Ryan Mathews has just one rushing touchdown this season. Asked if he'd like to see the ball more near the goal line, Mathews was diplomatic.

"Any of us can get in -- me, Danny [Woodhead], Ronnie [Brown] or Le'Ron [McClain] -- we have a lot of weapons on offense," he said. "So it's probably hard for the coaches to see which one they want to go to.

"We've just got to execute. It doesn't matter what play is called. We've just got to execute and score."

Reminded that he scored 39 touchdowns in college at Fresno State, Mathews had this to say:

"This ain't college," he said. "This is the pros, man."

Injury update: Linebacker Donald Butler said he felt good being out on the field for practice on Wednesday after missing the last three games with a groin injury.

Butler also missed a game against Tennessee earlier this season because of the groin issue. He said part of the reason the training staff has taken a cautious approach is to make sure he doesn't have a problem with the injury for the remainder of the season.

"That was the whole point in me taking as long as I have, to make sure when I came back [I was fully healthy]," Butler said. "And nothing has been decided yet. But just the fact that I was able to go out there and run full speed, kind of cut [is good], and I'll see how I feel tomorrow."

Butler was listed as a limited participant on San Diego's injury report.

Along with Butler, defensive end Lawrence Guy (toe) and offensive lineman Chad Rinehart (toe) were limited participants. Linebacker Tourek Williams (thumb) was a full participant.

Offensive lineman Mike Remmers (ankle) and receiver Eddie Royal (toe) did not practice.