The Chargers returned to practice on Monday after taking Sunday off. The special teams had a walk-thru in the morning, while the afternoon’s full team practice was crisp and had plenty of action.

“I was really impressed on how they responded and came back after a day off,” coach Norv Turner said. “That was as active a practice as we have had. I was particularly impressed with the defense. I thought our defensive front was moving extremely fast.”

The day began with the announcement Shannon Eastin will become the first woman to be part of an NFL officiating crew when the Chargers host the Packers this Thursday night. “It is historic,” Turner said. “I am excited about it.”

What stood out: The full practice began with the ball placed on the 1-yard line. RB Ryan Mathews promptly gave the offense some breathing room when he busted through the middle of the line for a nice gain. TE Antonio Gates and WR Robert Meachem each had a one-handed reception. The D-line got pressure on the QB several times, which would likely have been sacks. This included a play where QB Philip Rivers was bumped and then appeared to favor his groin for the remainder of the series. Rivers even took time to stretch between snaps, but returned to play the next series.

“[Rivers] has been stretching a lot,” Turner said. “I am not concerned about it. As I told him, ‘When you get over 30 (years old), it takes a little while to get loose and sometimes you feel a little of those aches and pains a bit more than when you were 26.’”

Turner also said Rivers retorted back, "I am not over 30. I am 30."

Position battles: OT Mario Henderson (free agent, Raiders) played LT with the second-string. Henderson has primarily practiced on RT, but is hopeful he can be used as a backup on both sides at OT this season. “That is one of my main things that I am trying to show them,” Henderson said of being capable of playing both sides.

Henderson is attempting to return to the NFL after being out of the league last season.

Injury updates: CB Antoine Cason (groin strain) returned to full participation. QB Charlie Whitehurst (sore MCL) participated in the QB individual drills for the first time since July 26 when he suffered the injury, but is still expected to miss the first two preseason games. CB Marcus Gilchrist, WR Richard Goodman, OLB Jarret Johnson, WR Eddie Royal (leg), T Phil Trautwein and G Johnnie Troutman (pectoral), worked out on the side and did not participate in practice. Johnson (hamstring) was the only new player not to participate. LT Jared Gaither (back spasms) also did not practice. Larry English (hamstring) participated in his second consecutive practice, but saw limited reps. 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 against the Packers.

Blackout lifted: The Chargers announced that enough tickets were sold to lift the local blackout for Thursday’s preseason game against the Packers. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN and locally in San Diego on CBS affiliate KFMB-TV, Ch. 8. Kickoff is 5:00 pm PT.

What's next: The Chargers will return to practice on Tuesday morning with a walkthrough. Fans are invited to Chargers Park to observe Tuesday’s full practice in the afternoon from 3:45 to 6:00 pm.

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