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Chargers : Coryell Says Flick May Have Earned Third-String Job

Times Staff Writer

Quarterback Tom Flick probably increased his odds of making the Chargers Friday night in a 24-17 victory over St. Louis in the final exhibition game, according to Coach Don Coryell.

“Nothing is cut and dried yet, but it’s very likely he will make the team,” Coryell said Saturday. “He started off badly, but we were encouraged by his comeback after two interceptions and a fumble that put the defense in some very tough holes.

“Tom came back and won the game with a heckuva strike (a 68-yard pass to Buford McGee). He showed he can put things out of his mind and that he can look down the field and get the ball there.”

Flick completed the exhibition season with 25 completions in 39 attempts for 446 yards and 6 touchdowns. He was intercepted three times.

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Coryell indicated last week that Flick likely would be retained as a backup to Dan Fouts and Mark Herrmann, but he also suggested that Flick, like several others, could play himself off the team with a bad game against St. Louis.

Apart from Flick’s performance, probably the single most noteworthy aspect of the game was the injury list.

“I don’t think we’ve ever come out of a game with so many injuries,” Coryell said.

There were injuries to players who had won starting jobs and players fighting for survival. The injuries probably will have a lot to do with shaping Monday’s final roster of 45. The Chargers play Miami next Sunday in San Diego in the regular-season opener.

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Running backs Tim Spencer and Lionel James left Friday night’s game with injuries that turned out to be a bit more serious than originally thought.

Spencer, who could barely walk off the field with a strained arch, may not practice until Wednesday, Coryell said. James, who injured an ankle in his first exhibition game after recuperating from a knee problem, also may be sidelined until Wednesday.

It is believed that both will be able to play against the Dolphins, Coryell said.

Running back Gary Anderson did not play against St. Louis because of a minor ankle problem but will play against the Dolphins.

Tight end Eric Sievers, who has a knee injury, also is expected to be ready for the season opener, Coryell said.

Defensive lineman Earl Wilson should be back for the Miami game, but linebackers Derrie Nelson (hamstring) and Ty Allert (possible broken hand) are questionable.

Running back Curtis Adams injured a shoulder and likely will go on the injured reserve list. Receiver Timmie Ware, who, like Adams, was fighting for a spot on the roster, is still bothered by a tight hamstring and could wind up on the injured list for safekeeping.

Offensive lineman Curt DiGiacomo suffered a pulled Achilles’ tendon, and linebacker Andy Hawkins suffered a pulled groin.

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Safety John Hendy, who has been idled by a knee injury, may return to practice by the end of the week but will miss the season opener, Coryell said.

Coryell said he was pleased with the blocking of offensive linemen Jim Lachey and Donnie Macek. He also singled out Jeff Walker, who was tried at tackle, and said that first-round draft pick James FitzPatrick played his best game of the preseason.

Defensively, rookie Leslie O’Neal had three sacks, and Chuck Ehin and Jeff Dale also played well after returning from the injured list.

The Chargers are off today but will practice Monday. Tuesday is an off-day, then preparations for the Dolphins begin in earnest.


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