Chargers Open Training Camp

Merriman Returns

Shawne Merriman showed his team spirit when the Chargers opened training camp Monday morning:The former All-Pro linebacker was sporting a blue mohawk as he joined rookies and a few veterans at practice.

"I'm showing my Charger colors," Merriman said.

It was the first time Merriman put on a jersey since knee surgery ended his season last September. While he feels fine, the Chargers are going to bring him back slowly.

"I'm about 65 percent right now," claimed Merriman.  "They're holding me back, but that's fine; the knee feels good."

Head Coach Norv Turner was impressed with Merriman's conditioning.

"Shawne looked good and felt good," Turner said. "We've got time to get him ready, but he'll play some in the preseason to make sure."

Quarterback Philip Rivers thinks this could be the healthiest the Chargers have been recently to start a season.

"To have Merriman healthy -- also tight end Antonio Gates and center Nick Hardwick -- is huge compared to a year ago," Rivers boasted.

As for Merriman's blue mohawk.

"He looks good in it," Rivers said. "I wouldn't."

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