Tomlinson, Rivers knocked out of game against Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- Injuries took a toll on both teams in Sunday's AFC Divisional Playoff Game.

San Diego lost running back LaDainian Tomlinson for much of the day with a bruised left knee. The Chargers also watched quarterback Philip Rivers head to the locker room after injuring his right knee on a short pass that Darren Sproles turned into a 56-yard touchdown on the last play of the third quarter.

Indianapolis lost safety Bob Sanders, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, briefly with a shoulder injury, while running back Joseph Addai sat out a portion of the second half after being shaken up on a 10-yard run.

Rivers jumped to throw the ball to Sproles and then landed awkwardly. He was helped onto a training table on the sideline before going to the locker room for evaluation. By the time he jogged back out of the tunnel onto the Chargers sideline, he already had been replaced by Billy Volek.

Tomlinson was injured during a second-quarter run and remained on the sideline through the end of the third quarter, even though the Chargers said his return was probable. Sanders injured his shoulder tackling Turner with 6:14 remaining in the third, but returned the next time the Colts defense took the field.

Tomlinson limped off after being tackled on an 8-yard run that helped set up a second-quarter touchdown. The NFL rushing champion fumbled on the play, but San Diego recovered and Rivers threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson on the next play.

Tomlinson went to the sideline and was examined. After testing his leg by jogging in front of the bench, the Chargers star remained on the sideline riding a stationary bike when San Diego's offense went onto the field for its next possession.

Tight end Antonio Gates, whose status was uncertain because of a dislocated big left toe, played sparingly in the first half. His first reception, a 23-yard catch, came on the same drive Tomlinson was hurt.

Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo also was taken to the locker room for attention after being blocked in the ribs on a first-quarter passing play. He returned after only missing a few plays.

Gates was injured during the first half of San Diego's 17-6 wild-card victory over the Tennessee Titans. He didn't practice during the week, but the Chargers decided against declaring him inactive against Colts.

The Chargers were without starting fullback Lorenzo Neal, who was one of eight players deactivated for the game. Neal returned to practice on Wednesday, exactly one month after breaking his lower left leg. He was officially listed as questionable after practicing on both Thursday and Friday.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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