Monday, October 1, 2012
Chargers begin preparing for Brees, winless Saints
SAN DIEGO -- After taking advantage of six turnovers to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Diego Chargers turned their attention to former teammate Drew Brees and the winless New Orleans Saints.
The Chargers (3-1) will travel to face the Saints (0-4) on Sunday night.
With only three healthy cornerbacks on the roster, the Chargers are expected to sign free agent Chris Carr. They'll need the additional help because Brees threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-27 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Carr tweeted that he was "San Diego bound."
San Diego's defensive backs are sure to get a workout in New Orleans. Brees, who's thrown at least one touchdown pass in 47 straight regular-season games, completed 35 of 54 passes against the Packers.
Brees was with the Chargers from 2001-2005, leaving as a free agent after injuring his right shoulder in the 2005 season finale. That opened the way for Philip Rivers to become the starter.
"It's been many years since I've been around Drew but he's treating today like they're 4-0," Rivers said. "He's very steady. And that's how you bounce back from a situation like they're in. In a Drew Brees team with what they've been though, you can't ever count them out of anything. We'll get their best and we've got to prepare to make sure that we give them our best."
Carr has played for Oakland, Tennessee and Baltimore. He was with Minnesota in camp before getting cut.
Also Monday, coach Norv Turner said kicker Nate Kaeding continues to be evaluated after injuring his groin on Friday, which forced the team to quickly sign Nick Novak for the Chiefs game.
"I would not anticipate him kicking for a while," Turner said of Kaeding.
Novak replaced Kaeding last year after he blew out a knee on the season's opening kickoff.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the Chargers believe they'll have to put Kaeding on injured reserve.
Running back Ryan Mathews, meanwhile, didn't seem bothered that he didn't start at Kansas City in the wake of his costly fumble a week earlier that contributed to a 27-3 home loss to Atlanta. Although Jackie Battle started, Mathews had a team-high 61 yards on 14 carries.
A day after the Atlanta loss, Turner said he planned to limit Mathews' exposure to certain situations.
"I got in the game, I got to play, you know what I'm saying? I got touches. So I'm not complaining," Mathews said. "He's the coach and everything so he makes the decision. I didn't feel any type of message. I was ready to play and when they called my number was ready to go.
"We won the game. We did everything we needed to do as a running back corps to produce and protection-wise and everything."
In the Atlanta game, Mathews was making his season debut after breaking his collarbone in the exhibition opener on Aug. 9.
"Ryan was put in a tough spot," Turner said. "You miss entire camp for the most part, the first couple games and you come up and everyone is six weeks ahead of you. He handled it extremely well. He had one bad play against Atlanta. ...He got hit real hard on that play in the Atlanta game but it doesn't make it OK. You can't fumble the ball.
"Everyone thinks it's to send a guy a message. The best thing for us in the Kansas City game was to start Jackie Battle to give our offense a chance to get into some rhythm, and then, on a feel, when it was the right time, to give Ryan an opportunity to be a part of it. As the game went on he became a big part of it. He understands the importance of taking care of the ball. He's not negligent. I don't think there is anyone that works any harder. He had a bad play in the Atlanta game and I do believe we're going to get past that."
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