Philip Rivers will start Friday's preseason game between the San Diego Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings despite missing up to three of his starting offensive linemen, the North County Times reports. Center Nick Hardwick (concussion), left tackle Jared Gaither (back) are definitely out, while Tyronne Green (foot) may also be forced to sit. Head coach Norv Turner said he isn't worried about his starting quarterback.
"This is a group that we could be playing opening day with," Turner said. "They're definitely going to be dressed on opening day with where we're at now, and I have a lot of confidence in guys that will line up along the offensive line."
Analysis: Expect Rivers to be pulled from the game at the first sign of trouble. Turner has held Rivers out of the final preseason game every since taking over as head coach in 2007, and he wants to see how the quarterback looks behind what may be his opening-day offensive line. Just knock on wood that the worst doesn't happen. Rivers struggled mightily last season, especially compared to his previous three seasons in the NFL. The hope is that his 20 interceptions from a year ago are an aberration. He'll come an absolute bargain on draft day for those who think he could put up 2010-like numbers.
For more on Rivers and the Chargers, be sure to check out the SB Nation blog Bolts From The Blue.