The Los Angeles Chargers will play host to the Oakland Raiders Sunday at the StubHub Center, seeking consecutive victories for the first time this season.
“We can’t keep going win for loss the whole way there,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said after last Sunday’s 29-27 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. “We know what that does — that usually leaves you on the outside looking in.”
The Chargers lost to the undefeated Los Angeles Rams, 35-23, Sept. 23, the other time they had a chance to record consecutive victories this season.
The Raiders (1-3) posted their first victory of the season last Sunday, overcoming a 14-point third quarter deficit to defeat the Cleveland Browns, 45-42, in overtime.
“This is not your typical 1-3 team,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “This team could be at least 3-1 right now coming off their best game last week. The offense is moving the ball well. They have a lot of weapons.”
Oakland lost to the Denver Broncos, 20-19, Sept. 16, with Brandon McManus kicking a 36-yard field goal with six seconds left, and 28-20 to the Miami Dolphins Sept. 23, in a game they led 17-7 late in the third quarter.
The Chargers swept the Raiders in 2017 for the first time since 2014, winning 17-16 at Oakland on Oct. 15 and 30-10 at StubHub Center in the season finale Dec. 31. The Raiders lead the series, 63-52-2, including the postseason.
The Chargers (2-2) made two additions to their roster since last Sunday’s game — punter Donnie Jones and defensive tackle Corey Liuget.
Jones was signed Oct. 2 and Drew Kaser waived.
“Drew is an outstanding punter,” Lynn said. “It was a hard cut, but when you look at the big picture his job is also to hold. We just wanted to change the whole dynamic right there with the holder and the kicker and make an extra point.”
Caleb Sturgis missed two extra points and a 54-yard field goal attempt last Sunday but made a 21-yard field goal with seven minutes, 41 seconds to play to give the Chargers the victory.
Jones was Sturgis’ holder with the Philadelphia Eagles for 30 games from 2015 through the 2017 season opener when Sturgis suffered a hip injury, was placed on injured reserve and did not play for the remainder of the season.
Liuget was suspended March 23 for the first four games of the 2018 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
“I made a mistake and take full responsibility,” Liuget said when the suspension was announced. “As part of my training program, I placed my trust in someone who, in hindsight, was not well-versed in the NFL’s policy on banned substances.
“As players, we’re told time and again that the NFL holds you responsible for anything in your body. Even if you take it accidentally, it’s on you.”
Liuget filed suit in federal district court in Los Angeles last month against his former trainer, Ian Danney, claiming Danney, without Liuget’s knowledge, injected him with a substance banned by the NFL.
Liuget is seeking no less than $15 million in damages because of lost wages, pain and suffering.
Liuget was chosen by the Chargers in the first round of the 2011 draft, the 18th overall selection. He has been a starter since his rookie season and was the Chargers Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.
“He’s got fresh legs so he’s obviously been working out pretty heavily over this timeframe,” Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “It was great to see him come back. His attitude’s great, his work ethic is great, and he’s in shape ready to go.”
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, a Pro Bowl selection in 2017, will miss his fifth consecutive game because of an injured left foot.
Rookie linebacker Kyzir White will miss his second consecutive game because of a knee injury. He had started each of the Chargers first three games of the season.
Receiver Travis Benjamin will miss the game because of a foot injury suffered last Sunday. He has caught two passes for three yards and rushed once for 19 yards this season.
Starting offensive tackle Joe Barksdale is listed as doubtful, meaning it is likely he will play. He missed the past three games because of a knee injury.
Started offensive tackle Russell Okung is questionable because of a groin injury, meaning it is uncertain whether he will play.
Raiders safety Karl Joseph will miss his second consecutive game because of a knee injury. Guard Kelechi Osemele is questionable because of a knee injury.
The Chargers will help promote the importance of early detection and risk reduction efforts for all cancers as part of the NFL’s “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” campaign.
Fans attending the game will receive pink ribbons at the gates from members of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity of women.
Throughout the game, the Chargers will pay tribute to breast cancer survivors on the field and in the stands. Fans will see splashes of pink throughout StubHub Center. All fans in attendance will receive pink “brandanas,” which can be used as headbands, neck scarves or rally towels.
The national anthem will be sung by breast cancer survivor Tarsha Rogers, who will be surrounded by breast cancer survivors, while ZTA members hold large pink stars and ribbons.
At halftime, more than 100 members of ZTA will be on the field for a special halftime performance featuring the Charger Girls and celebrating the survivors.
Each NFL team has designated a home game in Weeks 5 through 7 as their “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” game. This is the Chargers lone game at StubHub Center during that span.
In “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” games players are allowed to wear cleats, shoelaces and wristbands in any color representing the type of cancer awareness they support or have been impacted by.
“Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” games are played with game balls with the Crucial Catch logo.
Multi-colored equipment for players includes helmet decals, captains’ patches, gloves, sideline caps, sideline towels and quarterback towels.
There will be multi-colored ribbon pins for coaches and teams. Game officials will wear multi-colored caps and pins.
There will be multi-colored goal post wraps, multi-colored stencils on the field.
Game-worn Crucial Catch merchandise and footballs will be autographed and auctioned at NFL Auction, nfl.com/auction.
The NFL does not profit from the sale or auction of Crucial Catch merchandise, a league official said.
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