Gaither, Green miss Chargers' practice

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Gaither, Green miss Chargers' practice

SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego Chargers have a long list of injuries heading into Sunday's home game against Baltimore.

The wobbly Chargers (4-6) are in dire need of a victory to keep their slim playoff hopes alive after losing two straight games and five of six.

``Obviously, we are playing one of the better teams in the league,'' coach Norv Turner said Wednesday. ``They are a balanced team that is very good on defense. We have a lot to prepare for and we're excited about returning home.''

If they are going to upset the powerful Ravens (8-2) they'll likely need a boost from some backups, particularly on the left side of the offensive line.

Left tackle Jared Gaither (groin) didn't practice Wednesday and his track record suggests he's a long shot to heal in time to face the team that drafted him. If Gaither can't go, the task of helping stop the Ravens' versatile pass rush falls on undrafted rookie Michael Harris.

Left guard Tyronne Green, another key member of the Chargers' offensive line, didn't work either, sidelined by a hamstring injury. If Green can't play, veteran left guard Rex Hadnot would get his first start of the season.

``Michael Harris is one of the two guys on the left and he is healthy and playing,'' Turner said. ``He is learning; it's been quite an experience for him and us as he played and made progress. It is a real challenge for him each week he goes against some of the best players in the NFL. I do believe he is doing everything he can to meet that challenge.''

The Chargers' pass protection has been among their glaring weaknesses. With two starters possibly out against a Ravens' pass rush, which features Terrell Suggs, the Chargers could be hard-pressed to present quarterback Philip Rivers with a clean pocket.

Cornerback Quentin Jammer, who left Sunday's loss in Denver because of a calf injury, practiced Wednesday and should start against the Ravens.

But defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin was unable to practice and indications are he will miss another game with a knee injury. Antonio Garay would fill in.

Wide receiver Eddie Royal (hamstring), tight end Dante Rosario (hamstring) and linebacker Larry English (calf) were limited to side work.

Will lack of conditioning lead to Richardson's downfall with Ravens?

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Will lack of conditioning lead to Richardson's downfall with Ravens?

Will running back Trent Richardson’s lack of conditioning be his downfall with the Ravens?

Richardson missed the first week of OTA’s with a hamstring issue, which was not the kind of early impression he wanted to make. Some injuries are unavoidable. But conditioning has been an issue for Richardson throughout his brief and so far undistinguished NFL career.

Entering the NFL as the No. 3 overall pick with the Browns in 2012, Richardson has disappointed in Cleveland and Indianapolis, and spent 2015 out of the league after the Raiders cut him before the season. When the Ravens signed Richardson in April, he knew it might be his last NFL chance. However, Ravens coach John Harbaugh wants to see even more commitment from Richardson when it comes to staying in shape.

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“Trent just needs to get healthy,” Harbaugh said after the first week of OTA’s. “I think the workload and the amount of work it takes to be a world class conditioned athlete is something that he’s working on right now. That’s what he needs to understand and that’s where he needs to get himself. When he gets himself there, he’s got talent. It will be fun. I’m very certain he’ll get there and when he does we’ll be able to evaluate him.”

The Ravens don’t have to wait on Richardson. Their running back competition is already intense, with Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Kenneth Dixon, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Terrance West all fighting for carries and roles.

Whether Richardson even threatens to make the team remains to be seen. His bigger priority is improving his conditioning, and getting back on the field.

MORE RAVENS: MIKE TOMLIN, ANTONIO BROWN GO TO PENGUINS PLAYOFF GAME

In latest comeback bid, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta's confidence not a problem

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In latest comeback bid, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta's confidence not a problem

Not everyone close to Dennis Pitta was immediately sold on his second NFL comeback attempt. Will his twice-fractured hip hold up? How much is Pitta risking his long-term health?

Pitta has pondered those questions for months. But after the first week of OTA’s, the Ravens’ 30-year-old tight end remained confident he had made the right decision.

“I had to convince a few people, and I’m thankful for those who have been in my corner all along and had my best interests in mind,” Pitta said. “Like I’ve said before, I know my situation better than anyone else, and I’m confident in the decision I made to come back, and certainly there were people who wanted to make sure that I was confident in that decision. I have a great support team behind me, and we all feel good about this move.”

Pitta first fractured his hip during training camp in 2013, then again on a non-contact play against the Browns in 2014. However, Pitta says he doesn’t think about his right hip when he’s on the field. He’s also not lowering his expectations, despite not playing at all in 2015, and not playing a full season since 2012.

Pitta was one of quarterback Joe Flacco’s favorite targets, catching 61 passes for 669 yards during the 2012 regular season, then adding 14 catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns during the Ravens’ playoff run to a Super Bowl title.

Asked if he could return that level of play, Pitta suggested, “Why not?”

“No, my expectations haven’t changed from four years ago, to two years ago, to now,” Pitta said. “My level of expectation is extremely high going into this year. Like I said, I feel confident in how I can run, how I can move, how I can play and it’s just a matter of getting those reps back to where I’m confident in doing all of that. So, yes, expectations personally are very high.”

Pitta obviously wasn’t ready to end his career. If he is on the 53-man roster Week 1, it will be a terrific comeback story.

Mike Tomlin, Antonio Brown go to Penguins playoff game

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Mike Tomlin, Antonio Brown go to Penguins playoff game

If you didn't the the Pittsburgh Steelers enough already, this ought to help. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and receiver Antonio Brown decided to take in some hockey on Thursday and unfortunately, they were cheering for the local team.

On the one hand, what do you expect? They play for the Pittsburgh Steelers so it's no surprise to see them cheering for the hometown team. On the other hand, the Steelers are the team Ravens fans all love to hate so to see them supporting the chief rivals of the Washington Capitals, that stings.

Just one more reason to hate the Steelers this football season.

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