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Be Thankful: Chargers Blackout Lifted

Phillips, Gilchrist, Castillo return to work

By Michael Gehlken
|  Thursday, Nov 24, 2011  |  Updated 1:18 PM PDT
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Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers walks on the field for the game against the Miami Dolphins in the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on October 2, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 26-16.

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Be thankful on Sunday, too.

The San Diego Chargers announced Thursday their local blackout has been lifted, allowing Sunday afternoon's game against the Denver Broncos to be televised live in Southern California.

The 1:15 p.m. contest will air in San Diego on KFMB-TV with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts commentating from the booth.

Another reason to give thanks: outside linebacker Shaun Phillips practiced for the first time in a month. Despite being sidelined four games after suffering a foot injury on Oct. 23 against the New York Jets, he still ranks second on the team with three sacks and 12 quarterback pressures.

Coach Norv Turner said if Phillips plays Sunday, he will be eased into action, playing mostly on passing downs and seeing about 15 to 20 snaps.

Cornerback Marcus Gilchrist also returned to practice after injuring his hamstring on Nov. 20. Defensive end Luis Castillo (tibia) worked on the side for the first time since the season opener. He has a chance to play Dec. 5 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But there was some bad news on Thanksgiving Day.

No one returned from the battered offensive iine, and running back Ryan Mathews did not practice. He was limited Wednesday due to knee soreness and said afterward he expected to return Thursday.

Asked if there was a chance Mathews could miss Sunday's game, coach Norv Turner said that he didn't know, adding that the official availability will be released with Friday's injury report.

"Hopefully Ryan will be alright," Turner said, "but if he's not, (Mike) Tolbert and (Curtis) Brinkley will take the load."

The Broncos' 16th-ranked rush defense has allowed 3.9 yards per carry.

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