Gaither longshot to play Sunday

San Diego left tackle Jared Gaither continued to practice on a limited basis and he hopes to play Sunday at Kansas City for the first time since injuring his back in July.

Still, San Diego coach Norv Turner told reporters that it would be “very difficult" for Gaither to play Sunday because of rust. If I had to guess, I bet we see Gaither at New Orleans in Week 5. The Chargers were extremely cautious with Ryan Mathews and I’d expect them to take the same approach with Gaither.

San Diego cornerback Quentin Jammer practiced fully Thursday after missing Wednesday’s practice with a thumb injury.

In other AFC West notes:

  • Denver guard Chris Kuper was limited in practice for the second straight day. He has been out six weeks with a broken forearm. He could be in a similar situation as Gaither and could be more likely to play next week when the Broncos travel to New England. Denver running back Willis McGahee practiced fully Thursday after being limited Wednesday with a ribs injury. He should play Sunday against Denver barring a setback. Linebacker Nate Irving remains out with a concussion he suffered Sunday.

  • As expected, Oakland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey didn’t practice after suffering a concussion and being hospitalized after Sunday’s win over Pittsburgh. Heyward-Bey is likely on pace to return Oct. 14 at Atlanta after next week’s bye.

  • Kansas City receiver Steve Breaston was limited Thursday after not practicing with a knee problem Wednesday. Defensive end Glenn Dorsey was limited with a new calf injury.

  • Former Raiders Cliff Branch, Jim Plunkett and Ray Guy are now senior committee-eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That, frankly, will make their candidacy even more difficult. Just two senior committee players are nominated every year.

  • UPDATE: The St. Louis Rams were awarded tackle Joe Barksdale off waivers. He was waived by the Raiders on Wednesday. The Giants also reportedly but a claim in on Barksdale, but the Rams were awarded him based on their record. Barksdale was a third-round pick in 2011. But he didn’t fit the scheme of the new regime. I’m not surprised the Rams felt Barksdale was worth claiming and trying to develop. The Raiders signed pass-rusher Andre Carter when they dumped Barksdale.