Evening AFC West notes

San Diego linebacker Shaun Phillips is preparing for a physical game at Tennessee on Friday.

The Chargers have had several hard-fought battles with the Titans, including in 2007, when the team felt like standout linebacker Shawne Merriman was the subject of a questionable hit. Merriman hurt his knee on the play.

Phillips didn’t call out the Titans on Monday, but he indicated the Chargers will be ready.

“They definitely took a cheap shot on Merriman,” Phillips said in a transcript supplied by the team. “They're a physical team, though -- they thought they could punk us, and we obviously aren't going to get punked. We're going to do the same thing. They're a physical football team, and we like to believe we're a physical football team, so it's going to be one of those ones where we are going to punch them in the mouth and they're going to try to punch us back, and that's just how it's going to be. I personally know that Merriman definitely has to be a little heated because I believe that's when he originally hurt his knee. He hurt his knee in that game. So I'm pretty sure that he has some butterflies, and obviously that’s my brother so we're going to support him and we'll be behind him as well. So I already know going into it that it's one of those weeks that you prepare for a dogfight, because of the type of guys they have over there. They got some competitive guys. Big, strong, physical guys that get a little nasty and we'd like to think that we're that way too, so we're looking forward to it.”

  • San Diego coach Norv Turner said center Scott Mruczkowski has a strained ankle, at the minimum. The team is hopeful that Nick Hardwick will be able to play Friday. He has been out since Week 1 with ankle. If not, backup offensive linemen Dennis Norman (he finished the game at center Sunday) and Tyronne Green could be in the mix.