Chargers coach Norv Turner began to install an abbreviated game plan for Thursday’s preseason game against the Packers. Tuesday’s afternoon full-team practice resembled more of a slow paced OTA than a typical hard-hitting training camp practice.

“We have had extremely physical practices,” Turner said. “We are two days away from a game. We broke it down and worked without our shoulder pads on and put shells on. It was a lighter less physical (practice). It’s mostly mental and working on Green Bay.”

What stood out: There were few big plays with the day’s slower pace. A significant time was spent working on third-down situations as was done in OTAs and minicamp. The Chargers defense was last in the league a year ago in getting off the field on third downs, so this will be an emphasis in preseason. QB Kevin O’Connell, who was signed eight days ago, consistently overthrew receivers. O’Connell is expected to play Thursday but will probably see limited reps. QB Jarrett Lee (undrafted, LSU) will have a heavy workload.

Position battles: TE Ladarius Green (fourth round, 110th overall) is on the bubble. Green (6-6, 240) needs to improve as a blocker and add some muscle. Green’s height and speed make him a good offensive target. He has frequently been used in goal-line packages and will be a player to keep an eye on in preseason.

Injury updates: CB Marcus Gilchrist, WR Richard Goodman, OLB Jarret Johnson, WR Roscoe Parrish, WR Eddie Royal (leg), T Phil Trautwein and G Johnnie Troutman (pectoral), worked out on the side and did not participate in practice. Troutman and G/T Brandyn Dombrowski (foot, cyst) have yet to participate. The rest may return to practice next week but are not likely to play in Thursday’s preseason game. 

QB Charlie Whitehurst (sore MCL) participated in the QB individual drills for the second consecutive day. Turner said he expects Whitehurst to return to full participation on Saturday.

Larry English (hamstring) returned to practice this week with limited reps. English said he expects to play on Thursday, according to the North County Times.

LT Jared Gaither (back spasms) also didn't practice and remains the biggest injury concern. He has not fully participated in a practice since the first day of camp. Turner was less than illuminating when describing his expectations for Gaither’s return. ”I think he is making improvement,” Turner said. “It is slower than we’d like. I would expect him to be back in the next period of time.”

Whether that “period of time” is a day or the entire preseason remains a great mystery.

What's next: The Chargers will conclude their preparations for the Packers with a walk-through practice Wednesday morning.

Follow the Chargers and Dan McLellan on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLSD and @sandiegosports.