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Chargers Hashmarks Sept. 18: Preparing for Titans, Manti returns to practice and more

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Quarterback Philip Rivers looks to avoid the rush by defensive end Jared Crick in the first quarter.

    Rivers Rewarded

    Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Eagles game. Rivers completed 36 of 47 passes for 419 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. It was a memorable, magnificent performance by Rivers, who hasn't had a fourth-quarter game-winning drive since 2011.

    Rivers said the award is a credit to the offense as a whole.

    "It’s a reflection of the unit," he said. "Our offensive line gave up one sack. Receiver after receiver, I think eight different guys caught a pass, so it definitely was an offensive deal, where it was nice to have a good week."

    Butler To Bounce Back

    Chargers linebacker Donald Butler did not practice Wednesday (groin), but is expected to start Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

    "It's good, " Butler said. "Just taking a day to rest it. I'll be ready to go come Sunday."

    Head coach Mike McCoy said he expects him to practice this week.

    Te'o Watch


    Manti Te'o practiced Wednesday for the first time since injuring his foot in the August 8th preseason opener. Te'o was limited in practice and said the coaches didn't have him fully test his foot out, for fear of a setback.

    "I did some cutting, taking off, changing direction," Te'o said. "“As a rookie -- and especially as somebody who hasn’t experienced something like this -- a lot of the guys, the veterans and the coaches, keep telling me the same thing: Just make sure that I’m ready, make sure that I heal up, because the NFL season is a long season."

    Head coach Mike McCoy added that, as expected, Te'o showed a little rust: "“It’s the next step. Get him back out there on the practice field, moving around. It’s good to have him back out there. He’ll take it one day at a time.”

    McCoy said there is no timetable for his return.

    Titans Talk


    As the Chargers prepare for Tennessee, the focus shifts to Titan's running back Chris Johnson, who ran for 98 yards against Houston last week.

    "Number 28 (Chris Johnson) is a special player," McCoy said. "He’s been that way since he came into the league. Very explosive. You’ve got to do a great job of playing sound defense. Setting the edge, the gap responsibility, whatever you’re playing defensively, you must be sound because if you leave a crease, he’s going to take it and hit it for a home run. When you have the speed like he does, you have the flexibility of doing that.”

    Through two games, the Chargers defense ranks 11th worst in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game.

    Hardwick's Hygiene

    Chargers center Nick Hardwick has found a campaign he can, err … get behind.

    Hardwick, along with three other NFL centers, is part of a media blitz to endorse wet wipes aimed at men, called "One Wipe Charlies."

    Hardwick said there was no hesitation to endorse the product.

    "Personal cleanliness is important," he said, grinning.

    When asked if the man under center, Philip Rivers, would be appreciative, Hardwick responded with a resolute "absolutely … do you see how often he washes his hands?"

    The cheeky campaign will benefit the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, an organization Hardwick has long supported. The charity assists children of Marine or Federal law enforcement personnel who were killed in the line of duty. Since its inception in 1995, it has distributed more than $60 million in aid to eligible children.