SAN DIEGO (AP) -A star cast of San Diego Chargers missed practice Wednesday because of injuries, including quarterback Philip Rivers.
While Rivers didn't take any snaps because of his sprained left knee, he was still involved.
``He coached a lot. He's trying to get me straightened out,'' coach Norv Turner joked.
Did it help?
``No,'' Turner deadpanned.
Turner said Rivers should be able to practice on Thursday, which would give the Chargers (8-5) a better idea whether he'll be able to play in Sunday's home game against the Detroit Lions.
LaDainian Tomlinson, though, has no doubts.
``Philip will play. I think he'll play,'' Tomlinson said.
``The way I always look at things, if someone finished the game, pretty much they might be able to play the next game,'' Tomlinson said. ``Philip obviously finished the game last game. I'm not the coach or the trainer, but I think his chances, just talking to him, he'll be able to try to play.''
If Rivers can't play, Billy Volek will make the start.
``Billy looked good today,'' Tomlinson said. ``Billy has been in this offense for over a year now, so he knows the offense. So if for some reason Philip can't go, Billy should be able to step in and perform.''
Rivers hobbled around Wednesday with his left leg heavily wrapped and a brace on his knee.
Rivers was hurt in San Diego's 23-17 overtime win at Tennessee on Sunday. He limped off the field after taking a blow from defensive end Antwan Odom in the second quarter and was replaced by Volek.
Rivers returned for the start of the second half and played well down the stretch. He threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates with 9 seconds left to send the game into overtime, when Tomlinson won it with a 16-yard run.
Rivers wasn't available to the media Wednesday.
Also sitting out were tight end Antonio Gates (back), defensive tackle Jamal Williams (ankle), guard Mike Goff (foot) and linebacker Shawne Merriman, who won't play Sunday because of a sprained left knee.
Turner said Merriman ``has kind of surprised everybody. He's up moving around pretty good. It's not been that long. I think he's feeling pretty good. I think it's one of those deals where we have to evaluate it on a week-to-week basis.''
Fullback Lorenzo Neal broke his right leg Sunday and will miss the rest of the regular season.
The Chargers can clinch the AFC West for the second straight year if they beat the Lions and the Denver Broncos lose Thursday night at Houston.

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