SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Chargers ended their first phase of training camp on Monday and are off until Wednesday.
Tuesday won’t be the first idle day for some players. On Monday, linebacker Melvin Ingram rested.
On Sunday, tight end Antonio Gates and linebackers Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson sat out.
“We are resting certain guys throughout camp,” San Diego coach Mike McCoy said. “We have some older players on the team and we take one or two every day and give them their rest.”
Freeney said McCoy, and the league, is being smart in restricting contact and letting players ease into football shape.
“I think it is a good thing for our longevity and making the game a little bit better with guys not getting hurt as bad,” Freeney, 34, said. “Sometimes the numbers don’t show that. But I think it is better to take your time and not jump in the deep end at the beginning with all the hitting, especially with all the concussion stuff going on. It’s smart from that perspective, too.”
Quarterback Philip Rivers hasn’t skipped a practice, but likely will before camp ends.
“If I (did) in the past, when it was truly two-a-days, I really felt like I needed one for my arm,” Rivers said. “But I think it’s good now because it allows guys to play with the guys they would be playing with should a guy go down.”
Center Nick Hardwick, an 11-year veteran, was a practice spectator earlier in camp.
“With the guys that (McCoy) does that with, they are pros about it,” Rivers said. “They know how to handle it. It’s not like they’re going to miss out and get behind.”
Ingram, who returned late last year from a knee injury, said Monday’s absence wasn’t caused by a setback.
“I’m fine,” he said. “But this allows you to get your legs under you.”
Ingram will practice Wednesday, when it could be time for someone else to sit.
“You are probably going ask about someone every day probably for the rest of camp,” McCoy said. “There are certain guys we are going rest from time to time and for all different and various reasons.
“We’ve got to do that. We’re trying to get everyone as fresh as possible and in the best football shape come the opener. We got a lot of football left.
“So at the right time when I see someone that I think needs a break, I’m going to give them a break. When they work hard, they are rewarded for it. And Melvin has worked extremely hard to this point and time.”
Defensive tackle Corey Liuget said Wednesday’s scheduled respite is welcomed.
“I think the break for us is pretty good,” he said. “It’s a new generation of football and we need the breaks in between.”
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