- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 19, 2009

LaDainian Tomlinson was ruled out of the San Diego Chargers’ home opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday with a sprained ankle, just the second time the star running back will miss a start because of an injury in his brilliant nine-year career.

The former NFL MVP, who was hurt in Monday night’s 24-20 win at Oakland, hadn’t missed a game due to injury until January, when a groin injury kept him out of a playoff loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh.

Tomlinson’s carries will go to Darren Sproles and Michael Bennett, a late-season addition last year who made the roster out of training camp.

Also out are center Nick Hardwick (ankle) and defensive end Travis Johnson (groin). Right guard Louis Vasquez (knee) could also be sidelined, along with linebacker Antwan Applewhite (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jamal Williams (elbow). All three are listed as questionable.

EAGLES: Quarterback Donovan McNabb is doubtful for Sunday’s game against New Orleans because of a fractured rib.

McNabb missed practice for the third straight day. Coach Andy Reid refused to rule out McNabb and said there was a chance he would participate in Saturday’s walkthrough.

“He felt a little bit better today, and we’ll just keep rehabbing him and see how it goes the next couple of days,” Reid said.

Kevin Kolb took snaps with the first team and is expected to make his first NFL start if McNabb can’t play.

BEARS: Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer, who is replacing the injured Brian Urlacher, won’t be the only new starter for Chicago when it hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Coach Lovie Smith said Zack Bowman will make his first career start in place of Nate Vasher at right cornerback. Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who has a knee sprain, will be replaced by Nick Roach.

Smith also confirmed that tight end Desmond Clark will not play because of a rib injury. He’ll be replaced by Kelvin Davis.

GIANTS: Defensive tackle Chris Canty will be on the sideline when he returns to Dallas this weekend.

Coach Tom Coughlin said Canty missed practice again with a calf injury and has been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys.

Coughlin also said starting safety Kenny Phillips (knee) and cornerback Kevin Dockery (hamstring) sat out practice. Phillips had returned on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out; Dockery had been practicing on a limited basis.

49ERS: Receiver Brandon Jones is unlikely to play Sunday against Seattle after returning to practice this week from a shoulder injury.

Jones was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report; coach Mike Singletary said he is not in game shape. Singletary hopes another week of workouts will be enough for Jones to make his season debut in Week 3 at Minnesota.

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