AP NEWS

Chargers’ Fluker on crutches after practice

August 22, 2016 GMT

The Chargers’ starting offensive line has seen consistent reps together since May.

For an indefinite period, that group will be fractured.

Right guard D.J. Fluker was scheduled Monday for an MRI on a foot he injured during practice, a source said. How much time he’ll miss is unclear for now. The 2013 first-round draft pick was seen on crutches, wearing a protective boot over his right foot.

For certain, Fluker won’t play Sunday against the Vikings in the Chargers’ third exhibition game.

Spencer Pulley could see reps in his place. The undrafted rookie, who played both center and guard at Vanderbilt, has proven himself a valuable reserve. Kenny Wiggins also is an option, having started eight games in 2015 while appearing at left guard, right guard and right tackle.

San Diego’s line, coaches believe, has developed a strong chemistry this offseason.

That’s in part to an early commitment made to the starting rotation, the team knowing since it signed Matt Slauson in May who its five would be. Left tackle King Dunlap, left guard Orlando Franklin, Slauson, Fluker and right tackle Joe Barksdale have been the Chargers’ projected five for Sept. 11 against the Chiefs. Now, Fluker’s ability to be ready for the start of the season is in question.

The team has dealt with a myriad of injuries on its O-line in recent years.

That includes 2014 when it became the first team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to start five different centers in the same season. Last year, the Chargers started 24 unique combinations on their line over the course of the season.