Chargers' Crayton out after wrist surgery, but Jackson is back

SAN DIEGO -- Chargers wide receiver Patrick Crayton underwent surgery on his left wrist Wednesday, two days after he was hurt during a victory over the Denver Broncos.

The Chargers didn't provide details about the surgery, nor about when or if Crayton will return.

Chargers coach Norv Turner met with the media before the surgery was announced. At that point, Turner said Crayton could be out two to three weeks.

Crayton was hurt while falling into the end zone at the end of a 40-yard catch-and-run Monday night. He made three catches for 105 yards.

Crayton's injury comes just as Pro Bowl wide receiver Vincent Jackson is preparing to make his season debut when the Chargers (5-5) visit Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts (6-4) on Sunday night. Jackson was activated off the roster exempt list Tuesday.

Star tight end Antonio Gates also missed practice again. He said he'd like to try to practice this week to see if his torn right plantar fascia has healed enough to allow him to play Sunday night. Gates has missed two consecutive games -- sandwiched around the Chargers' bye week -- and said the injury is still painful.

"I've still got a long week," Gates said. "I think the biggest key for me at this point is to somehow try to practice to get a good idea about what I can do and what I can't do, what I can tolerate, because that's going to be determination, what's tolerable and what's not. Probably not a full practice, but just to see how I feel and see where it takes me.

"My biggest obstacle with this is, just, can I deal with the pain? Can I deal with the pain in the game? Can I deal with the pain for four quarters? Obviously, they have some things that can help eliminate the pain, but it's not going to take it away. I haven't really had that game atmosphere, the adrenaline pumping, you're sweating, you're moving around, blood flowing, it's circulating through the foot, and it kind of loosens the foot up. That's probably why I need to practice sometime this week to give myself a good idea, can I go in the game and sustain it through four quarters?"

Gates hasn't played since Oct. 31. He missed a victory Nov. 7 at Houston and Monday night's game. The Chargers have won three in a row to pull into a second-place tie with the Oakland Raiders in the AFC West, one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jackson spoke with reporters for the first time since reporting to the Chargers on Oct. 29. When he hadn't signed his one-year, $3.268 million tender as a restricted free agent by June 15, the Chargers slashed it by $2.5 million. After missing training camp and the first seven games, Jackson reported in time to serve his three-game suspension on the roster exempt list -- he was placed there in a hardball move by general manager A.J. Smith -- and then play the final six games to accrue a season toward unrestricted free agency.

Asked if he had any regrets, Jackson said: "Absolutely not."

Otherwise, he wouldn't talk about his decision to sit out.

"I'm here now. I'm not looking back," he said. "I'm excited about what this season can become. This team is on an upward swing right now, got a lot of momentum. We're trying to get guys healthy, but we make no excuses. We're going to go out there, and we're going to fight each and every game, and I expect us to do very well."

Jackson said he's fresh and ready to go.

"I've always taken care of my body," he said. "I'm always out here working hard throughout the season. There's a lot of things you've got to do on and off the field to be fresh late in the year. Some of these young guys, a lot of young guys, rookies, you gotta learn that the first couple of years in the league."

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Jackson also spoke highly of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who hasn't flinched even though some of his favorite receivers have been hurt. Rivers leads the NFL with 3,177 passing yards and 23 touchdown tosses.

"He's made do with whoever's stepped up," Jackson said. "Our coaches do a great job with these young receivers, getting 'em coached up out here, making sure they're fundamentally sound, running good routes. It makes Philip's job a lot easier. But, again, you can't take it away from that guy. I mean, what he's done with running backs, hitting 14 to 15 different receivers this year. He's one of the top players in the league, without a doubt."

Among other Chargers who didn't practice Wednesday were wide receiver Malcom Floyd (hamstring), running back Ryan Mathews (ankle), tight end Randy McMichael (hamstring) and right guard Louis Vasquez (neck).

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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