Chargers’ Okung to make season debut Sunday

NFL

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Out since June after suffering a pulmonary embolism due to blood clots, Los Angeles Chargers left tackle Russell Okung will play for the first time this season against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, according to head coach Anthony Lynn.

Okung missed all of training camp and has been on the non-football illness list since the start of the regular season, however, he began practicing last week.

Okung only had two practices, so Lynn said he decided to hold him out of the Chargers’ 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans over the weekend.

The Chargers still have to make a roster move officially adding Okung to the active roster.

“He won’t be able to play the whole game,” Lynn said. “Trent Scott will probably play the bulk of the reps like he’s been playing, but Russell will work his way back in, and he has to get his game reps in right now.

“We don’t know how much he’ll play, but he definitely will play some this week.”

Second year pro Trent Scott has been starting at left tackle with Okung out. The Chargers lost Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey for the season due to a neck injury that required surgery three weeks ago, and also lost guard Forrest Lamp last week due to a broken right ankle, so they could use an experienced lineman like Okung back in the fold.

Left guard Dan Feeney moved to starting center to replace Pouncey, but moved back to left guard during last week’s game against the Titans with Lamp going down. Second-year pro Scott Quessenberry came in to play center, and is projected to start there on Sunday.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said Okung should provide a steadying presence on the Chargers’ patchwork offensive line.

“It will be great to have Russ back out there,” Rivers said. “I know he’s excited. Much like Pouncey, he bring more than just on the field. Just him being in the mix and in the huddle — the whole deal — will be a positive.”

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