Chargers Notebook : Offensive Line Giving Coryell a Big Headache

Times Staff Writer

The offensive line remains a headache for the Chargers--literally.

Rookie tackle Jim Lachey was still bothered Wednesday by headaches caused by the concussion he suffered last Saturday in a exhibition game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Coach Don Coryell said it wouldn't be known until today whether Lachey would be able to play in Friday night's exhibition finale against New Orleans.

If Lachey can't play, Sam Claphan likely would replace him at left tackle, with Ed White moving from left guard to right tackle. The interior line duty would be divided among veterans Don Macek and Dennis McKnight and youngsters Jerry Doerger, Bill Searcey and Ken Dallafior.

McKnight, normally a guard, will play a quarter at center as the Chargers prepare for any eventuality in the regular season.

"We'd love to have a set, pat line, but we're having to juggle right now," Coryell said.

Meanwhile, injuries will sideline several veterans who probably would play if this were a regular season game. Included in that group are quarterback Dan Fouts, who has a slight groin strain, and placekicker Rolf Benirschke, who suffered the same injury early in the week.

In the absence of Fouts, Bruce Mathison and Mark Herrmann will be fighting for the reserve quarterback job held the past five years by Ed Luther, who is now the property of the Jacksonville Bulls of the United States Football League.

Luther's agent, Leigh Steinberg, said the player's contract is guaranteed for the 1986 season and he has no option to move to the NFL, unless the Bulls worked out a package deal with him and an NFL team.

The Chargers are known to be looking at the possibility of bringing in a veteran quarterback if they don't like what they see of Mathison or Herrmann this week.

While the No. 2 quarterback job is very much up for grabs, the kicking jobs are settled, with Benirschke handling field goals and rookie Ralf Mojsiejenko doing the punting. The latter will do double-duty against New Orleans.

The Chargers will also be taking a look at safety Liffort Hobley, picked up on waivers this week after he was released by Pittsburgh. Hobley, a college teammate of Charger safety Jeff Dale, was used at cornerback by the Steelers but will return to his natural position, safety, in his trial with the Chargers.

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