A six-game winning streak has put the Chargers in the mix for a bye in the AFC.
If San Diego is to make seven straight wins, the team will have to do it without at least one defensive starter. Free safety Eric Weddle is expected to miss the next two games with a sprained MCL. The team expects him back for a key Week Fifteen game against the Bengals.
Chargers coach Norv Turner said the team is also considering resting linebacker Shawne Merriman this week against the Browns. Merriman has been playing better of late, but left Sunday’s win over the Chiefs with foot tendinitis.
San Diego can suddenly enjoy such luxuries as resting a key starter like Merriman with an eye towards bigger games coming up. The Chargers have traditionally closed well under Turner, and they started their kick for the finish earlier than usual this year.
They also expect to get starting center Nick Hardwick and defensive end Luis Castillo back soon.
In a conference stuffed with legitimate Super Bowl contenders, it’s hard to argue that any team is playing better than the Bolts.