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Chargers place LT Gaither on IR

Chargers place LT Gaither on IR

SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego Chargers placed left tackle Jared Gaither on injured reserve Friday, ending an unproductive season for a player expected to shore up a shaky offensive line.

``We've given Jared Gaither every opportunity to be a part of this team and it just hasn't worked out,'' said coach Norv Turner, who clearly was disappointed at the way the lineman's season has gone.

``Obviously, physically he hasn't been able to be part of it.''

Asked if he was happy with the work ethic of the 6-foot-9, 335-pound Gaither, the coach said: ``It is what it is. There's not really a lot left to be said about it.''

Gaither played in only four games this season. He missed almost all of training camp and the first three games with a back injury. He injured his groin late in a loss at New Orleans and played in only two games since.

In the closing seconds of the Saints game, with the Chargers desperately trying for the tying touchdown, Martez Wilson blew past the hobbled Gaither on Philip Rivers' blind side for a strip-sack and recovered the fumble to preserve the Saints' 31-24 victory.

Gaither was signed off waivers after Marcus McNeill was hurt late last year, and played well in the final five games. The Chargers gave Gaither a four-year, $24.5 million contract in March.

Rivers has been under siege most of the season because of the line's poor play. Adding to San Diego's woes was the retirement of left guard Kris Dielman due to a concussion.

Rivers has thrown 14 interceptions and lost four fumbles this season, giving him 43 turnovers since the start of the 2011 season.

Undrafted rookie Mike Harris has filled in for Gaither, and will have to face Terrell Suggs of the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

``I don't know what we would have done without him,'' Turner said about Harris. ``He's a guy who's improved and working as hard as he can. He's been in some tough matchups and he's managed to the best of his ability.''

Asked if he'd like to see Gaither back next year, Turner said: ``You know, we're going to start getting those questions about a lot of things. I'm interested in doing what we can to give this team the best chance to win the Baltimore game. Obviously, after that we move on to the next opponent.''

Turner is expected to be fired if the Chargers miss the playoffs for the third straight season. At 4-6, the Chargers have all but ceded the AFC West title to the Denver Broncos and are a longshot to secure a wild-card berth.

The Chargers are expected to sign tackle Kevin Haslam from the practice squad to the active roster.

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Suggs, Smith among six Ravens named to PUP list

Suggs, Smith among six Ravens named to PUP list

The Ravens announced six players placed on the physically unable to perform list Saturday - linebacker Terrell Suggs, wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman, linebacker Elvis Dumervil, running back Trent Richardson, and cornerback Jumal Rolle.

Quarterback Joe Flacco (knee), cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot), tight end Dennis Pitta (hip), and cornerback Will Davis (knee) were not placed on PUP, indicating they were ready for the team’s first full-team training camp practice Thursday.

Any player on the PUP list can be activated and return to practice at any point prior to the regular season. Once a player is placed on the regular-season PUP list, he must sit out at least the first six weeks of the regular season.

RELATED: WILL SMITH'S BODY BETRAY HIM AGAIN?

Rolle (Achilles injury) is expected to miss the entire season. Here’s the breakdown on the other five PUP list players:

Suggs – He still has not fully recovered from his season-ending Achilles injury suffered in Week 1 last September. Suggs is scheduled to meet with the media Wednesday, where further details about his progress should be revealed.

Smith Sr. – Also recovering from a season-ending Achilles injury suffered in November. Smith said he would not care if he missed the entire preseason. His priority is to be ready by Week 1.

Perriman – He suffered a knee injury during minicamp which did not require season-ending surgery. However, Perriman has still not played a preseason or regular season game since being drafted in the first round in 2015. After two knee injuries in two years, the Ravens have every reason to be cautious with Perriman until they think he is ready to return.

Dumervil – He had offseason foot surgery after playing through pain last season. Dumervil missed mandatory minicamp, but did not sound concerned about being ready for Week 1.

Richardson – His lingering hamstring issue could ruin his bid for an NFL comeback. The Ravens are deep at running back, and Richardson needs to get healthy to have any chance to win a roster spot.

MORE RAVENS: FLACCO HAS LONG ODDS FOR MVP

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Best case, worst case scenario for WR Steve Smith Sr.

Best case, worst case scenario for WR Steve Smith Sr.

Clifton Brown and Bo Smolka are taking turns putting 25 key Ravens under the microscope leading up to veterans reporting to training camp. They’ll speculate on a best-case, worst-case scenario for at least one player every day, concluding with quarterback Joe Flacco on July 25.

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Steve Smith Sr., 37-year-old wide receiver

Best-case scenario for Smith:

He enjoys a typical 1,000-yard season, and he remains the Ravens’ top receiver.

Why it could happen:

It’s dangerous to bet against Smith making a full recovery from Achilles surgery, even in the twilight of his career. Few athletes perform with more of a chip on their shoulder than Smith, who is always driven to prove doubters wrong. He’s a technician at route running, he studies film diligently, and he’s a master at using his body and hands to ward off defenders. Smith never relied on pure speed to be a top receiver. So even if he’s a tad less explosive, Smith has the talent to end his career playing at a high level.

Worst-case scenario for Smith:

Smith’s body betrays him, and the Ravens’ depth at wide receiver reduces his playing time and role.

Why it could happen:

Father Time is undefeated, and may finally be calling for Smith. The older an athlete gets, the harder it gets to recover from injuries. With their deep group of tight ends, and the addition of wide receivers Mike Wallace and rookie Chris Moore, the Ravens may not be as dependent on Smith as they have been. Even if Smith is healthy, his role in the offense might be less prominent.

RELATED: FLACCO HAS LONG ODDS FOR MVP

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Flacco has same MVP odds as Winston and Mariota

Flacco has same MVP odds as Winston and Mariota

Joe Flacco has been a Super Bowl MVP and has won 10 playoff games. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston have played one NFL season.

However, all three of those quarterbacks have been given the same odds (100/1) of winning next season’s MVP award by sportsbook Bovada.lv.

People who think Flacco is an elite quarterback may view that as disrespect. But the Bovada.lv odds throw even more shade at Flacco.

Sixteen quarterbacks are given a better chance of winning the MVP award in 2016 than Flacco. Some of the names you would expect, like Aaron Rodgers, who is the favorite at 4/1, followed by Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1), and Tom Brady (9/1).

But do Blake Bortles (66/1) of the Jaguars or Brock Osweiler of the Texans (66/1) really have a better chance of winning the MVP than Flacco? According to Bovada.lv they do. That’s also an indication that not much is expected from the Ravens overall after their 5-11 season. The better your team does, the better your chances of winning the MVP.

Newton won the MVP last year starting at 50/1 odds. So if you believe in Flacco and the Ravens, those 100/1 MVP odds for Flacco may look like an enticing play.

RELATED: Can Dumervil lead a rebirth of Ravens's pass rush?