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PRO FOOTBALL REPORT / WEEKDAY UPDATE : CHARGERS : Butts Probably Out Sunday

Coach Dan Henning said he doesn’t expect running back Marion Butts, who has a sore foot, to play against the Raiders.

“I don’t have an inclination now to play Butts for the rest of our season,” Henning said. “But he was picked for the Pro Bowl and there are some concerns there. We’re going to have to deal with Marion and the doctors to make sure we don’t enthusiastic about playing in the Pro Bowl and get him hurt in the Pro Bowl.

“To take that risk now with Marion, I don’t think is the way to go. I wouldn’t rule him out 100%, but I would list him as doubtful.”

Butts, who missed last week’s game, no longer leads the NFL in rushing. Buffalo’s Thurman Thomas has rushed for 1,297 yards, while Butts has 1,225 yards. Detroit’s Barry Sanders has 1,281 yards.

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Henning said the Chargers will probably have to sign a defensive lineman to fill the gap left by the injury to Burt Grossman.

Grossman broke two ribs Sunday against the Chiefs and is not expected to play against the Raiders. The team placed nose tackle Les Miller on injured reserve with a back injury last week, and has been playing without nose tackle Joe Phillips, who remains away from the team because of a salary dispute.

In light of the decision to start John Friesz in place of Billy Joe Tolliver at quarterback, Henning was asked if he might open himself to criticism from Kansas City.

If the Chiefs defeat Chicago Saturday, they will have a chance to win the AFC West Division crown if the Chargers beat the Raiders.

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“I’m not concerned about Kansas City or the Raiders; I’m concerned about the Chargers,” Henning said. “If the arguable point from outside sources is that Billy cost us the game Sunday, then maybe they’d be just as happy if we played the other guy.”


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