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Chargers to start undrafted rookie at left tackle in opener

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Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Carr (25) pushes San Diego Chargers running back Edwin Baker (27) out of bounds for a 2 yard gain as tackle Mike Harris (79) assists
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Carr (25) pushes San Diego Chargers running back Edwin Baker (27) out of bounds for a 2 yard gain as tackle Mike Harris (79) assists

The Raiders stout defensive line will be looking to feast upon Philip Rivers and the Chargers on opening night. The Chargers will be without their starting left tackle Jared Gaither with recurring back issues and will start undrafted rookie tackle Mike Harris instead according to the San Diego Union Tribune. This could begin to look familiar.

In the two teams' first meeting last season, the Chargers were without their Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeil and the Raiders had field day. Kamerion Wimbley had four sacks in the game which was more than his entire sack total for the rest of the games that season. The Raiders beat the Chargers.

Wimbley and the Raiders did that without Matt Shaughnessy in the lineup. Now Shaughnessy is back and the Raiders have a new strong side linebacker in Philip Wheeler. They also have the best defensive line in the AFC West and one of the best in the NFL.

The Chargers didn't have a strong offensive line to begin with. The only proven lineman on their roster is center Nick Hardwick.

When issues with Gaither's back started to crop up early in camp, the thinking was the Raiders would be going against their former left tackle, Mario Henderson. But Henderson was let go in the final wave of roster cuts, leaving the job to Harris.

The one thing the Raiders need to do now is not get overaggressive in anticipation of a sack fest.