Tomlinson sits out practice to rest sore big toe
SAN DIEGO -- Maybe the fantasy geeks should be worried after all.
With his toe injury lingering, LaDainian Tomlinson sat out Wednesday's short practice as the winless San Diego Chargers began preparing for their home game against Brett Favre and the New York Jets on Monday night.
Tomlinson, who has yet to find his way into the end zone this season, said his jammed right big toe isn't as sore as it has been, but he didn't sound overly confident.
"Well, with another day of rest and treatment, it's feeling a little better today, so hopefully, I'm just going to play it by ear this week, see how it feels later in the week," he said. "I'm hoping that it's going to make big progress this week and by Monday night hopefully I'll be as close to 100 percent as possible."
Tomlinson was held to 26 yards on 10 carries in a 39-38 loss at Denver on Sunday. In the second quarter, a team trainer was examining Tomlinson's toe on the sideline.
"I feel better than last week," Tomlinson said. "If I'm judging by last week, I should be able to play."
Tomlinson hurt the toe on the Chargers' last drive of a 26-24 home loss to the Carolina Panthers on opening day. He said he aggravated it against the AFC West rival Broncos.
"A little bit. But I expected that," he said. "That's going to happen, especially so much contact you take. I took a couple of shots on it. That's the thing, when teams know you have a problem, they're going to attack that certain area sometimes, to test it out, make sure you're healthy."
So that's why NFL teams like to lie about injuries?
"Exactly," Tomlinson said.
During the AFC Championship Game, the Chargers announced Tomlinson had a "sore knee" and "can return," even though he was sidelined for good with what he revealed afterward was a sprained ligament.
Tomlinson, the two-time defending NFL rushing champion, has only 123 yards on 31 carries. He hasn't scored in a span of four games, including last season's playoffs.
The Chargers are one of only four teams without a touchdown rushing this season. Philip Rivers has thrown six touchdown passes and San Diego's only other score was Darren Sproles' 103-yard kickoff return at Denver.
"I'd like to see LaDainian practice, but if his toe doesn't let him practice, it doesn't," coach Norv Turner said. "We'll make the best out of the situation, what it is. L.T., I believe he's better than he was at this time last week. He's still got soreness, did not do anything today. We'll see where he is as the week goes on."
Turner hopes the midweek rest helps.
"That's why we're doing what we're doing with it, hopefully to keep it from lingering," Turner said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press