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San Diego QB Rivers practices; questionable for Sunday

SAN DIEGO -- Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers split snaps with his backup during practice on Friday and is questionable for San Diego's home game Sunday against the Detroit Lions because of a sprained knee.

Rivers sprained his left knee in Sunday's overtime win at Tennessee and didn't practice on Wednesday. He shared the quarterback duties with Billy Volek on Thursday and Friday, and hopes to be ready against the Lions.

"That's the plan and what I'm shooting for," Rivers said. "We'll see what happens."

The Chargers (8-5) can clinch the AFC West title for the second consecutive season by running their winning streak to four games on Sunday.

Coach Norv Turner said he thought Rivers moved a little quicker on Friday. Turner said he needs to trust his eyes, and not his ears, in evaluating Rivers.

"I can't believe what Philip tells me, so I have to watch what he does" Turner said. "He said he felt better and we'll see how he feels tomorrow after doing more. I think he didn't go full speed yesterday and he went faster today."

If Rivers can't go, Volek would make his 11th NFL start and first as a Charger. He is 3-7 as a starter.

Linebacker Shawne Merriman (knee), fullback Lorenzo Neal (leg) and defensive end Luis Castillo (ankle) are out Sunday.

Tight end Antonio Gates (back) and defensive tackle Jamal Williams (ankle) practiced for the first time this week, although in a limited capacity, and are listed as questionable. Right guard Mike Goff (foot) and wide receiver Craig Davis (Achilles' tendon) took all their snaps and are expected to play Sunday.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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