No Rivers, Gates for Chargers on Friday night

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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson won’t be the only big name watching Friday night’s game between the Chargers and Vikings.

Chargers coach Norv Turner announced late Thursday night that quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates will also miss the matchup. Gates is healthy, but the team would like things to remain that way until the regular season. Turner told the team’s website that the quarterback decision was made to get a look at how Charlie Whitehurst performs in a starting role.

“Charlie is going to start, and I’m anxious to watch him in a starting role,” said Turner. “It’s something we may be in the position during the regular season that we have to do that, and it’s a good experience for him.”

The Chargers might want to get a look at Whitehurst as a starter (Turner’s done this before with Rivers and Billy Volek), but part of the decision has to be based on the fact that they would rather see Whitehurst get snapped in two by Jared Allen than Rivers. The Chargers will be without left tackle Jared Gaither, left guard Tyronne Green and center Nick Hardwick on Friday against a team that tied for the NFL lead in sacks last season.

Putting Rivers out there behind a makeshift line is something you’d have to do in a regular season game, but it’s not a risk worth taking in a game that doesn’t matter. Rivers has never played in the team’s final preseason game since Turner took over as coach, so we’ll likely next see him on the field come Week One.

23 responses to “No Rivers, Gates for Chargers on Friday night

  1. After seeing how Whitehurst does in a starting role, they will want to trade to Seattle for Tavaris Jackson.

  2. Very disappointing, the 3rd game is a chance to see both #1 unit’s for an extended period, and now we don’t get that chance. Rivers hasn’t looked particularly good this pre-season you would think you would want him to get some game work with his new WR’s and so they are ready for the regular season.

  3. sucks now we dont get to see are DBs play with one of the best QBs. If the front line is that banged up maybe #69 should sit as well no need to chance a injury just to flex your muscles.

  4. I keep saying it. Play in the trenches wins football games more often than not. The Chargers really bad O-line will be the single biggest reason this team fights with Denver for the basement in the AFC West.

  5. Smart move. It gets to the point with all the injuries in preseason that it seems better to just save the regulars for when the season starts. Keep the preseason for those on the bubble for earning a spot on the team. Sometimes you can’t avoid an injury, but playing less preseason games = less chances of getting injured overall.

  6. From a national press perspective the Vikings are getting very little attention. If the Vikings keep their starters in through the beginning of the 3rd quarter, I don’t think the Chargers are going to be able to do much offensively. If that’s the case, and the Vikings offense produces the same unspectacular but solid performance that it has been, then I’m wondering if the Vikings will start to get a bit more attention. This game could make the Vikings look better and the Chargers look worse, respectively, then they actually are. Actually a pretty interesting game to watch.

  7. Earlier this pre-season SD let Jarrett Lee play 2-3 quarters and he looked better than Whitehurst has ever looked. Why isn’t Lee getting more of a shot? Who does Turner think he is – Les Miles?

  8. Hmmmm I sense a trade bait opportunity.

    Lets hope Charlie Blows it up and looks good enough to where a team would willing to give up and offensive Lineman for a servicible QB. “cough Arizona cough.”

  9. @ USMUTTS

    Check my comment above. Jarrett Lee look more than good enough to handle the backup role. Lets hope Charlie looks good enough that he’ll get another shot at being a starter. The Cardinals are a mess at QB and they meed to do SOMETHING before Larry Fitz requests a trade.

  10. After as inept as the chargers first team offense was last week, and the picks Rivers continues to throw, I’d argue that he needs to be in there working out the kinks.

  11. @sdboltz

    “Hmmmm I sense a trade bait opportunity.

    Lets hope Charlie Blows it up and looks good enough to where a team would willing to give up and offensive Lineman for a servicible QB. “cough Arizona cough.””

    Have you seen Arizona’s offensive line? They’re maybe the only team in the NFL in a worse that than that Chargers in that area.

  12. who cares Rivers throws like a grandma anyway. looks like Eli knew what he was doing when he refused to go to the chargers

  13. Bummer. I agree with all those who wanted to see how the Vikes defense stacks up to the Chargers first-string offense. Hopefully the Chargers are still planning to play all their starting defensive players for at least a half.

  14. “What a great pic, that’s a classic Rivers shot put throw right there.”

    Which 99 times out of 100 ends up sailing over the Faiders safety right into Antonio Gates’ hands during another drubbing of Jokeland. How’s Canada? Is it still a completely made up country?

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