SAN DIEGO (AP) - The San Diego Chargers are inching closer to playing the Baltimore Ravens without three key offensive starters.
Running back LaDainian Tomlinson, center Nick Hardwick and right guard Louis Vasquez all missed their second straight practice on Thursday, decreasing the chance they'll play against the vaunted Ravens defense.
Hardwick and Tomlinson have sprained ankles and Vasquez a sprained knee. On Friday, the team will officially update their status for Sunday's game.
"The odds go against you," coach Norv Turner said. "The guys that practice today have a better chance. For the other guys, their chances go down."
Left tackle Marcus McNeill returned after missing Wednesday's practice with a hand injury. That hand was heavily taped and padded, but McNeill insists he'll play in the home opener. Nose tackle Jamal Williams also returned to practice after missing one session with a sprained elbow.
If Hardwick and Vasquez can't go, backups Scott Mruczkowski and Brandyn Dombrowski will start in their places. If Tomlinson sits out - which seems increasingly likely - Darren Sproles and Michael Bennett will carry the rushing load.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.