Chargers Camp Report: Day 8

SAN DIEGO -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of San Diego Chargers training camp:

Antonio Gates showed he can still make it happen in the middle of the field. The 33-year-old tight end twice beat the first-team defense for big gains during team drills, using soft hands to make an impressive catch against safety Jahleel Addae on a crossing route.

Later during practice, Gates beat Jarret Johnson and Eric Weddle down the sideline for a touchdown. Gates, who did not work at all during the offseason, has looked in shape and explosive through the first week of training camp.

• On the injury front, receiver Vincent Brown missed his fifth straight practice because of a calf injury, and he wore a walking boot on his right foot during practice.

San Diego coach Mike McCoy did not provide an update on the injury, other than saying that Brown would be back in uniform when he’s healthy.

“He has the same diagnosis that he has when he first injured it,” McCoy said. “And he’ll be out there when he’s ready to go.”

Cornerbacks Marcus Cromartie and Brandon Flowers also did not practice. Offensive lineman Jeromey Clary remains on the active, physically unable to perform list.

McCoy said Flowers just had a rest day on Thursday.

Defensive lineman Corey Liuget tweaked his right ankle during one-on-one pass-rush drills, but had it retaped by a trainer and returned to the field. Center Nick Hardwick suffered what appeared to be an elbow injury and did not finish practice.

“I made the decision after he got dinged there to hold him out the rest of the practice,” McCoy said about his starting center. “He wanted to go back in, but we held him out.”

Also, for a second straight day, rookie cornerback Jason Verrett was limited to individual drills. Verrett ran sprints at the end of practice.

• Undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Greg Ducre made a nice interception on an out route intended for receiver Torrence Allen thrown by Brad Sorensen. The former University of Washington player also had a nice pass breakup during team drills later in practice.

Another rookie who continues to make his mark is second-round selection Jeremiah Attaochu, who had back-to-back sacks working with the second unit during team drills.

Up next: The Chargers practice at 5:50 p.m. ET on Friday in a practice at Chargers Park that is closed to the public. The Chargers hold their annual FanFest on Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium. Doors open at 12:45 p.m. ET.