SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Malcom Floyd #80 of the San Diego Chargers comes to the sideline during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium on September 16, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Malcom Floyd practiced Monday for the first time since injuring his knee two weeks ago.
"It feels good," Floyd said. "Feels like I finally accomplished something, got out and worked today finally instead of being on the side."
Head coach Mike McCoy added that though the intention was for Floyd to only do individual drills Monday, he "snuck into the team period for a rep or two."
"I was only approved for individual but I felt good and we had some guys down," Floyd said. "So I figured I'd help the receivers out and give them a break."
There is no official word on Floyd's return, though it seems likely he would suit up against the Texans for the season opener.
"I'm ready," Floyd said. "I've been sitting on the side, and I'm eager to get in."
Marshall Makes SD Home
Veteran cornerback Richard Marshall practiced with the Chargers Monday for the first time since being released by the Miami Dolphins last week. Marshall said that, among being closer to home and his children -- (he's from Los Angeles) -- one of the things that drew him to San Diego was his connection to Chargers coaches. Ron Milus (defensive backs) was with Marshall when he played for the Carolina Panthers, and Kevin Spencer (special teams) and Ken Whisenhunt (offensive coordinator) were with Marshall in Arizona.
"That was a big part of me coming here. Knowing what they expect, how they coach…that was a big factor," Marshall said.
Marshall will wear #20.
Like Dwight Freeney's spin move? Credit his basketball game. Freeney said the spin move started in high school, where he was a forward.
"I used to get called for traveling every time, so I tried another sport," Freeney said, laughing.
I asked Freeney if the preseason has gone as he hoped.
"I think it did," the outside linebacker said. "I wanted to go out there and get my timing, that happened; I wanted to get some conditioning done, that happened; I made a play, that happened. So far, I've made it out of the preseason healthy. So it's been pretty good."
As far as the personality of the defense? Like a first date, it's too soon to tell. "I’ve always said you don’t know what you’re going to have until at least the middle of the season," Freeney said. "Right now things are looking great, and hopefully we’ll keep that momentum.”
A Gluten-Free Gates
Tight end Antonio Gates credits a gluten-free diet with one of the reasons he feels so good this season:
"I always try to come into the season with some type of different regime to try to improve my game," Gates said. "This year was more eating certain foods, trying to stay away from wheat. I'm just trying to do gluten-free pasta, gluten-free bread…I just try to change. Every year I try to find something different."
Gates said the diet helps reduce inflammation in his body. He added that he's glad to have the last few years behind him.
"I feel great, compared to a couple years ago," Gates said. "Dealing with the plantar fasciitis and the foot, that whole couple of years was just an uphill battle for me. I contemplated retirement at that time. The one thing I learned about that experience is that playing in this league is definitely a privilege. Now I'm just excited to be back on the field and healthy."
Linebacker Manti Te'o is still on the sidelines after injuring his foot in his preseason debut. But on Monday, the rookie indicated his health might be taking a turn.
"I'm pretty sure I'll be there for the opener," Te'o said.
Okay...so it's not concrete, and it's not even that optimistic…but "pretty sure" is as good as you guys are going to get, so hush.