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Chargers Hashmarks Sept. 25: O-Line in flux; Butler back; Te'o to play

By Annie Heilbrunn
|  Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013  |  Updated 8:14 PM PDT
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Chargers Hashmarks Sept. 25: O-Line in flux; Butler back; Te'o to play

NBC 7 News

Manti Te'o smiles as he meets with the media the day he returned to the practice field.

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O-Line Woes
After left guard Chad Rinehart and left tackle King Dunlap left Sunday's game against the Titans due to injuries (turf toe and concussion, respectively), the Chargers were faced with an all-too-familiar scenario: The O-Line Shuffle.

For now, the dance will continue.

Center Nick Hardwick was limited in practice Wednesday (shin) and right guard Jeromey Clary did not participate due to a hurt clavicle -- an injury he sustained in the first quarter of Sunday's game.

With no one to step in for him, Clary played through it.

"I didn't know what was going on," Clary said. "I just knew it didn't feel right. I told Nick … We did what we could do to try and make it through, and at halftime we did some more."

Head coach Mike McCoy said Clary's clavicle is not broken; however, it's uncertain whether Clary will be able to play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

"It's day to day, honestly," Clary said. "I'm going to go home, get some rest, hopefully sleep really good tonight and see how it feels tomorrow."

Fifth-year player Rich Ohrnberger is expected to start in place of Rinehart Sunday. It would be Ohrnberger's first start of his career.

"As far as preparation goes, this is very similar to how its been," he said after practice Wednesday. "More reps, though."

Ohrnberger played both left and right guard Sunday against the Titans.

Players mixing positions is something offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris has stressed from day one of training camp.

"We talked about it all camp, about the reason why you move guys around from day to day," said head coach Mike McCoy. "You’ve got to give guys rests certain periods during practice and put a guy in a position that he may not be as comfortable with. But there are going to be days like there were last Sunday, where some guys go down or there’s an injury during the week of practice and you’ve got to shuffle the deck."

Some good news? First-round draft pick D.J. Fluker practiced in full today and should start against Dallas. Fluker spent Sunday on the sideline due to a concussion he sustained in practice.

Whatever O-Line shows up Sunday will play against one of the best pass rush defenses in the league. To date, the Cowboys have racked up 13 sacks this season, second best in the NFL.

"It’s a good unit and a typical Monte Kiffin defense," said quarterback Philip Rivers. "They don’t do a ton, but they do it well and will make you earn everything you get … We obviously know what [DeMarcus] Ware brings to the pass rush."

Ware, with 115 career sacks, is a two-time NFL Sack Leader and a seven-time Pro Bowler.

Butler and Te'o Back At It

The last time Manti Te'o played a snap was Aug. 8, in the first preseason game. He was shut down immediately afterward due to a foot sprain.

Now, it's likely he will make his NFL regular-season debut Sunday against the Cowboys.

"There’s no guarantees," McCoy said. "But as of Wednesday it looks good. [Te'o] did a lot last week in practice and he participated a lot more today. We’re going to see how he goes throughout the week. He did a nice job today and he felt great out there running around, so it’s good to have him back out there.”

Te'o said he feels good and is ready to play. Linebacker Donald Butler also practiced in full today after sitting out Sunday's game with an injured groin.

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