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Chargers Sign Returner Milburn

November 16, 2001

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Glyn Milburn, cut by Chicago Bears a few days after botching two kickoff returns, was signed by the San Diego Chargers to replace a punt returner who had similar problems.

Milburn took a physical Thursday morning and was catching punts in practice by the afternoon.

Milburn was signed two days after the Chargers cut Reggie Jones, who muffed two punts and had just 5 yards on three returns in a 26-16 loss at Denver on Sunday.

Jones was filling in for Tim Dwight, who suffered a collapsed lung in a home loss to Kansas City on Nov. 4. Dwight isn’t expected to be back for Sunday’s game at Oakland.

``We have made an impact in ballgames with those two teams, punt returns and kickoff returns, and we obviously didn’t have that same weapon last week,″ coach Mike Riley said.

``I think it’s great. This guy is a reliable, talented returner who we played against a couple years ago and thought was a good guy to face. This guy, I think, will help us sleep well on Saturday night,″ Riley said.

The Bears released Milburn on Oct. 17, three days after he botched one kickoff that hit him in the facemask and fumbled another away.

Milburn made the Pro Bowl two years ago and set the Bears’ career record for kickoff return yardage last season. He was surprised when the Bears released him.

``But you know after nine years, I’ve seen a lot of surprises,″ Milburn said. ``I’ve been fortunate to play as long as I have and not been waived, but it happened and I have good memories from that experience. But I feel I’m still a good player who can help a team.″

Milburn is a nine-year NFL veteran who also played for Denver and Detroit.

Riley said it’s possible that Milburn will remain with the Chargers even after Dwight returns.

The Chargers (5-4) have lost two straight and four of six since their 3-0 start.

Also Thursday, tight end Freddie Jones returned from South Carolina, where he got a second opinion on his ankle injury. He isn’t expected to play against the Raiders.

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