Hamstring sidelines rookie English

Updated: August 19, 2009, 11:10 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Chargers rookie outside linebacker Larry English is expected to be sidelined again when San Diego plays its second exhibition game Saturday night at Arizona.

English, the team's first-round draft pick, was unable to work in team drills again on Wednesday due to a balky left hamstring that has cost him two weeks of training camp, including the exhibition opener.

While his teammates were going through the afternoon session, English was toiling with trainer James Collins and going through a series of mobility drills.

English said the injury is frustrating, but doubts missing so much of camp will hinder him when the regular season starts.

"If it came down to it I feel like I could play today," English said. "It's just one of those things where we are being cautious in the preseason and not trying to rush anything."

English, who never experienced hamstring problems at Northern Illinois, said his hamstring became aggravated when conditioning for the NFL combine. English doesn't think the injury is in that same area, although it is the same leg.

Before his hamstring strain, English was a regular in the outside linebackers' rotation. And when a mending Shawne Merriman required a breather, English often ran with the starters.

Recently, though, he's just working with trainers in trying to get his hamstring right. While he can't do the on-field work, he's still paying attention.

"I'm just trying to stay sharp mentally and physically," English said. "You really got to take mental reps and picture the plays that are called and what your responsibility is."

English, the 16th overall pick, remains upbeat that he'll be a steady contributor in his rookie season.

"I don't think it's going to be a setback at all," he said. "I think once I get back in there I'll be fine and get back into the groove quickly."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press