The Chargers are calling their home opener against the Titans "White Hot Sunday." The promotion is meant to show solidarity with fans and players wearing all white. It may be more reflective of the temperature on the field. A thermometer read more than 100 degrees at Chargers Park on Friday as the team finished its preparations for Sunday’s game with a walk-through.
“It was warm today, but it was good,” coach Norv Turner said. “A breeze came up. Our guys have handled it awfully well this week on a short week. I thought our practice was a lot better today than it was last Friday.”
Mathews questionable: RB Ryan Mathews (clavicle) is officially listed as questionable, but the prevailing feeling is he is closer to doubtful. Coach Norv Turner refused to state what it would take for Mathews to play. “You don’t have to make a decision until Sunday,” Turner said. “So we are not going to make a decision until Sunday. Whether we are looking for something different [from Mathews] or not different, it’s not an issue.”
Gates eyes record book: TE Antonio Gates (ribs) is also listed as questionable. If Gates plays, he will have an opportunity to reach another career milestone. Gates needs three catches to become the fifth tight end and the 59th player in NFL history with 600 career receptions.
“Any milestone that you make gives you a glimpse of everything you have been through,” Gates said. “The first thing that comes to mind is I remember when I was a rookie free agent. When I first came here I signed for like $2,500. It gives you that appreciation of all the hard work and all the things you were able to do. Growing up in the inner city (Detroit) and overcoming that. To the point where you are able to say, ‘Wow, I played in the National Football League, and I was able to have 600 receptions.’ Only 59 other guys have ever had it done, so that is where you get your satisfaction from.”
Harris vs. Wimbley: LT Michael Harris (undrafted, UCLA) will likely face off against Titans DE Kamerion Wimbley on Sunday. Wimbley played for the Raiders last season. He had four sacks against the Chargers in Week 10 but did not get to QB Philip Rivers in Week 17.
“You need to have the best blocker you can have against him,” Turner said. “In the first game (Week 10 of 2011) we were a makeshift offensive line. We were trying not to not only play guys out of position, but play guys who were hurt. It’s a big difference when you go in and you have a line that has been playing together and [you have a] a guy out there who is capable of competing and doing a good job.”
Seau honored: The Spanos family and the Chargers will officially retire No. 55 on Sunday in honor of Junior Seau, the greatest defensive player in Chargers history. Seau’s number will join 19, worn by Lance Alworth, and 14, worn by Dan Fouts as the only three retired numbers in the team’s 53-year history.
Injury Report: LT Jared Gaither (back spasms) and CB Shareece Wright are out. TE Antonio Gates (ribs) and RB Ryan Mathews (clavicle) are questionable. NT Antonio Garay (foot), WR Richard Goodman (concussion) and CB Quentin Jammer (thumb) are probable.
What’s next: The Chargers will host the Titans at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 ET and will be televised on CBS.
Game preview from a Chargers perspective: Chargers Game Preview: Week 2 vs. Titans
Game preview from a Titans perspective: Titans Game Preview: Week 2 vs. Chargers