The San Diego Chargers' backfield featured a different look at practice Wednesday -- Ryan Mathews was in it, but Mike Tolbert wasn't.
And Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates, who returned to the lineup Sunday night despite a torn plantar fascia, isn't sure if he will be able to play this weekend when the Chargers (6-5) play host to the Oakland Raiders (5-6) in a key AFC West game.
Mathews practiced for the first time since he aggravated an ankle sprain during a Nov. 7 game at Houston. But Tolbert, who replaced Mathews as San Diego's starting running back and has gained more than 100 yards in each of the past two games, didn't work out for "precautionary" reasons. Tolbert told *The San Diego Union-Tribune* that he expects to play Sunday.
Gates told the newspaper, "I'm undecided. I'm not to a point I'm for sure going next week."
Making matters worse for the Chargers, wide receivers Vincent Jackson (calf), Patrick Crayton and Malcom Floyd (hamstring) didn't practice. Only Floyd has a chance to play against the Raiders.