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CHARGER UPDATE : NOTEBOOK / T.J. SIMERS : Upon Further Review, the Review Took Too Long, Henning Is Told

Coach Dan Henning said he’s been informed by the league office that referee Gordon McCarter’s crew and replay judge Fritz Graf took too long to review John Friesz’s “is it a lateral or a forward pass?” in last week’s loss to Kansas City.

Henning already knew that.

The officials are supposed to take no longer than two minutes to review a play, but the Chargers timed Sunday’s wait at 8 minutes, 10 seconds. Graf’s written report to the league, however, indicated that it took 1:33.

That had Henning steaming.

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“Jerry Seeman, who is in charge of the officials, said it was longer than it should have been,” Henning said. “He said it was obviously not handled in the way he would like it to be handled. He’s taken action to hope it doesn’t happen again.”

After the lengthy delay, the officials reversed their decision on the field and said Friesz’s pass was a lateral and not an incomplete pass. They gave possession of the ball to the Chiefs on the Chargers’ one-yard line, and Harvey Williams scored a moment later to cut the Chargers’ lead to 14-10.

“It almost looks like you’re trying to find a way to make it go to the other team,” Henning said. “Take the teams and switch them around, we’re in Arrowhead Stadium and they take eight minutes and they go that way against the Chiefs, and you got mayhem.”

Henning was asked whether the league has indicated if it will fine him for his criticism of the officials.

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“I think they ought to praise me,” Henning said with a smile. “I’m just trying to help them out and do my part to make it a better game.”

The Chargers continue to list several starting players on their injury report as “questionable,” but Henning said he expects everyone to play Sunday against the Dolphins.

Cornerback Gill Byrd and quarterback John Friesz continue to be bothered by sore ankles, and nose tackle Joe Phillips has also suffered an ankle injury. Wide receiver Kitrick Taylor has a bruised knee, and linebacker Billy Ray Smith has a swollen calf.

“The only way you can find out whether Billy Ray has got what he got a couple of years ago when he went on injured reserve,” Henning said, “is to put him out there and go full speed in pads.”

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Smith will not be in pads until Sunday.

Punter John Kidd and Smith will join Henning at the Charger Backers weekly luncheon at 11 a.m. today in the Sports Club at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.


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