SAN DIEGO (AP) -Chargers coach Norv Turner is more concerned with having linebacker Shawne Merriman on the field for the playoffs than next month's regular-season opener.
Merriman, a three-time Pro Bowler, felt pain in his knee after playing in San Diego's preseason game on Aug. 9. On Thursday, Merriman said he has a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the knee. He has visited noted sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews and may see two other doctors to weigh his options.
If the ligament is severely torn, he'll undergo season-ending knee surgery. If the tear isn't significant, Merriman could play through the pain and be ready for Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 7.
``If a guy has a setback and it keeps him out of it for a week or two ... I don't know that anyone will remember that any player missed a week of practice or was dealing with an issue,'' Turner said Friday after practice.
San Diego would turn to Jyles Tucker if Merriman can't play, but Turner called that idea ``way, way, way, way premature.''
``We are going to do everything we can to create a situation where (Merriman) is not in pain and the leg gets some strength back,'' Turner said.
Merriman, who had offseason arthroscopic surgery on the same knee, was unavailable for comment Friday. Chargers general manager A. J. Smith did not immediately return a phone call.

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