SAN DIEGO – On Tuesday, the Chargers signed Kicker Nick Novak to a two-year deal and re-signed defensive end Ogemdi “O.G.” Nwagbuo, to replace kicker Nate Kaeding and defensive end Luis Castillo respectively after they both sustained leg injuries in the Chargers first game and win of the season.
“Nate is out for the year,” said head coach Norv Turner. Luis is continuing to be evaluated, he added.
Turner wouldn’t elaborate on the extent of Castillo’s injury, or how long he would be out for until he received a final medical report from the Chargers doctors on Wednesday. Vaughn Martin came in for the injured Castillo and played at a real high level, Turner said. “Vaughn’s going to play a lot more.”
Turner said that Kaeding suffered torn ligaments in his knee and would require surgery, though no date for Kaeding’s surgery was announced.
Novak, who spent the preseason with the New York Jets, and was with the Chargers in 2010, has played in 22 NFL games with Washington, Arizona and Kansas City. He spent 2010 with the UFL’s Florida Tuskers after the Chargers cut him.
Nwagbuo is returning to the Chargers after being released prior to the start of the season this year. Nwagbuo has played 27 games with the Chargers over the past two seasons.
Safety C.J. Wallace was released by the team to accommodate the addition of Nwagbuo.
As for the injuries to Kaeding and Castillo, Turner said it’s adversity and we’ll handle it.
Turner said RB Mike Tolbert got banged around pretty good…he took a couple shots and got a couple bumps and bruises but he gave out more than he took. Turner added that he didn’t expect Tolbert to miss any time.
One of the themes for this year’s Charger campaign is adversity. Turner said they know it’s coming, but the key was how to handle it when it did. It was something that the team saw early in the game when they fell behind the Vikings in the first half.
“I loved the way the guys responded,” Turner said.
The Chargers will begin practice for the New England Patriots, a team that, despite a few glimmers of success, have provided much adversity for the Chargers.
“We haven’t fared very well against them,” said Philip Rivers. “Even though we’ve had a lot of great games, we haven’t been on the top end in a while, so I’m looking forward to this one,” he said.
As for the team facing adversity, Rivers said there’s adversity in every game. “I think that’s football in general. That win yesterday reminded me of some of our wins late in the season in past years…just finding a way, fought through it, it wasn’t pretty, but we leaned on each other a little bit and got it done. I think it’s good for us to be tested for those types of things early in the year because it prepares you for what it’s like down the stretch.”
With the team seeking to win a championship this year, Rivers said he’s trying to help lead them there.
“I want to win the same as I wanted to win in the second grade,” Rivers said. “There’s always an urgency. I think if there’s such a thing as more emphasis on starting fast, I don’t know if that can be done either, but we’ve made that emphasis,” he said.
“We’re just 1-0 and we’re going to try like crazy to get to two this week.”
The Chargers play the Patriots at Gillette Stadium Sept. 18.