After Thursday's final preseason game, Chargers head coach Mike McCoy told his players to take the weekend off for rest.
Cornerback Derek Cox took an hour of that to clear his mind … in the boxing ring.
"It's a hobby for me," Cox said. "To get that workout, just to keep things in motion. Two days off, it's a long time. I wanted to stay active and get that cardio in as well."
Still, training camp is grueling, and the break between the last preseason game and the regular season is a welcome one. While it's typical for players to either fully rest or do some light conditioning, Cox instead sparred for an hour inside a San Diego boxing gym.
The workout complements his training on the football field, he said.
"There's footwork involved in it, and the use of your hands," Cox said. "And cardio. Those three-minute rounds, with a minute off to recover is great preparation for coming out here [practice]. Also, the breathing mechanics that you use in boxing, that helps too."
"It's a long season and your conditioning is a huge contributor to being successful at what you do."
But it's the mental relief that Cox enjoys most.
"It's a way to decompress, switch up gears," he said. "It's a beat down, but I'm refreshed after I'm done."
Wide receiver Eddie Royal practiced Monday for the first time since suffering a bruised lung two weeks ago.
Royal said he's ready to play in the season opener Monday night against the Houston Texans.
"That's the plan," Royal said Monday after practice. "Hopefully the coaches feel the same way, but I'll leave it up to them."
Royal said Monday "felt like a normal day at practice" and that Chargers coaches didn't hold him back at all.
"They just let me get out there and go," he said. "I felt great. I've been conditioning a lot and making sure I'd be okay for today. Today is the big test and I hope we passed. I felt like I did."
Defensive end Corey Liuget also practiced Monday for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the second preseason game. Linebacker Manti Te'o (foot sprain) did not practice.