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Patriots.com News Blitz - 1/15/2008

When last we saw Chargers QB Philip Rivers and All-Pro RB LaDainian Tomlinson, both were watching their San Diego teammates beat the Indianapolis Colts inside the RCA Dome.

They were forced to serve as spectators after suffering knee injuries during the Divisional Playoff Game.

Today, the San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Tomlinson expects to play, while Rivers' situation is less clear.

"It's nothing serious, just a hyperextension," Tomlinson said. "I think they've got me listed as questionable, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to play."

"Right now, it's probably questionable in terms of playing in the game, but he's got a chance," Turner said of Rivers. "That will be a day-to-day thing and we'll monitor it as the week goes on."

So, how did the Chargers keep it together when they suffered those injuries against the Colts? They looked to their much-maligned head coach, Norv Turner, according to an interesting read in the Chicago Tribune today.

"We stayed together, he kept us together, and you have to give Norv credit now," defensive end Luis Castillo said. "I've never seen a guy get so much criticism even before he took the job, and then after he got the job it was even worse."

Whether or not Tomlinson and Rivers play against the Pats Sunday afternoon, New England knows it needs to shore up its defense to stop the surging Chargers, as USA TODAY points out.

"We're going to learn from all of these bad mistakes that we made," S Rodney Harrison vowed. "And we're going to get better."

"You've got to trust your ability to adjust, trust the adjustments that the coaching staff gives you," linebacker Tedy Bruschi added.

QUICK HITS

The Boston Herald takes a peek at who would take the place of Rivers and Tomlinson if the Chargers stars don't play.

The Boston Globe, meantime, looks at how some San Diego players have toned down their rhetoric a little when discussing their chances against New England.

ESPN.com ran some computer simulations of this Sunday's AFC Championship Game, and it doesn't look good for San Diego.

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