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San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner looks on during the game with the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on October 2, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 26-16.
Chargers coach Norv Turner isn't in the business of chasing predictions.
In August, he doesn't surf the Internet to read which expert thinks what. In September, he's not flipping through Super Bowl magazines at the grocery checkout line.
And here in October, when a divisional rival makes a bold prediction, as Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson did this week by stating the Raiders "are going to win the AFC West," well, don't expect Turner to bat an eye now.
His team faces the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
That meeting, Turner assured this week, is his "focal point," adding that predictions won't sway how the Chargers approach a game or affect how the AFC West race unfolds.
"I was brought up in a different era," Turner said. "I've stood on a sideline with John Robinson and looked across and seen Don Shula and seen Mike Ditka. I've been fortunate enough to have been around some great coaches, and it's new to me, all the predictions. It's just different. No, I don't make predictions."
More relevant, the Chargers now prepare for their first divisional road game of the season. In 2010, they lost their first two AFC West road contests before capping the campaign with a road win over the Broncos, the franchise's fourth in the past five years.
More than 800 miles separate San Diego from the Colorado capital. The Oakland Raiders in Week 10 are farther away.
"We'll worry about that when we play Oakland," said running back Mike Tolbert of Jackson's prediction. "It's a coach's job to fire his team up, and if that's the way he feels he's got to fire his team up, then that's on him. But it is kind of salty to us, that they're thinking we're just pushovers. We'll definitely try to make that not happen.”
A win on Sunday would be a start.
Preparation, not predictions, determine divisions.
No Setback for Jammer
After practicing Wednesday for the first time in more than a week, cornerback Quentin Jammer didn't participate in Thursday afternoon's session.
The absence was due to illness, not the hamstring injury suffered in Week 3.
Asked about Jammer's status for Sunday, Turner said he feels "good about it."
"I think his leg is better," Turner said. "He's sick right now. I don't know if it's a flu or what it is, but he's got to get over that."
Wide receiver Vincent Jackson (hamstring) missed practice again on Thursday. It's the second straight week he sat out on both Wednesday and Thursday.
Turner said he hopes Jackson can repeat what he did last Friday when dealing with an abdomen injury, practicing in full and then playing on Sunday.
Whether he can will be determined.
"We'll see when tomorrow gets here," Jackson said.
Center Nick Hardwick (neck) was a full participant Thursday after being held out of contact drills Wednesday. He should be fine to start.
Tight end Antonio Gates and defensive ends Jacques Cesaire and Luis Castillo also missed practice. Cesaire and Castillo will certainly be out, and Gates is not expected to play.