Chargers' Fluker likely out for Sunday's game at Minnesota

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SAN DIEGO (AP) Chargers right guard D.J. Fluker didn't practice Tuesday and is likely out for Sunday's preseason game at the Minnesota Vikings.

Coach Mike McCoy said Fluker injured his right foot during Monday's practice. Fluker, who battled ankle and knee issues last year, had an MRI, which McCoy said was negative.

Whether Fluker will play in the preseason finale against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 1 isn't clear.

Fluker's injury, while not considered serious, gave the Chargers pause. The team used 24 different combinations along an injured offensive line last season, which contributed to their 4-12 record.

The Chargers signed Chicago Bears free agent Matt Slauson to solidify the unit. Before Fluker went down, the starting five was intact throughout the summer practices.

''You've heard me talk all camp how great it's been to have all five guys working together,'' quarterback Philip Rivers said. ''So hopefully it's not an extended period of time where we have to shuffle guys in and out. But it gives other guys a chance to get in there because, shoot, we know this league and what it's like. To have the same five all season? I hope we do, but it is going to be tough.''

Spencer Pulley, an undrafted rookie from Vanderbilt, is expected to replace Fluker on Sunday.

''You know how important your six, seven and eight are,'' Rivers said. ''So it gives one of those guys a chance to get in there.''

Rivers is impressed with Pulley, who is sliding over from center.

''He's really done a good job for us,'' Rivers said. ''You never know what to expect. There are 90 guys out here and you sign a free-agent guard, center, whatever. But he has shown he's very capable of having a chance to be a good player.''

Rivers, who didn't play on Friday against the Arizona Cardinals, expects to go in Minnesota.



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