Chargers C Hardwick practices, could play vs. Titans

The Chargers and Titans hit the practice field Tuesday — normally a day off for teams — in advance of their Christmas Day NFL Network matchup in Tennessee, and it appears as if San Diego could receive a boost on its offensive line.

Nick Hardwick (ankle) was a full participant in practice, which is big news, considering the Chargers have been without their starting center since Week 1. Scott Mruczkowski, who had been starting for Hardwick, already has been ruled out, meaning San Diego would start its third center — Dennis Norman — if Hardwick can’t return.

The Chargers announced after practice that they had signed center Eric Ghiacuic, who spent four seasons with the Bengals (2005-08), and placed Mruczkowski on season-ending injured reserve.

The Chargers practiced without LB Shawne Merriman (foot), WR Legedu Naanee (foot), DE Jacques Cesaire (elbow), and DE Travis Johnson (groin).

For the Titans, DT Tony Brown (knee, quadricep), CB Nick Harper (shoulder) and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch (neck) didn’t practice. WR Nate Washington (ankle) and TE Craig Stevens (concussion) were limited. Washington injured himself on a touchdown catch during last weekend’s victory over the Dolphins.

Tennessee already knows it will be without LBs Keith Bulluck and David Thornton, who are both done for the season. To help, the Titans signed nine-year veteran LB Jamie Winborn to a two-year contract Tuesday.

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