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Considering his consistency, Shaun Phillips does not have to come into question here. He seems to be headed the right way.
Shawne Merriman, on the other hand, seems to be headed for the unemployment line—fast.
Merriman came out early in last week's game due to an apparent calf injury and did not return.
As of now it is unknown whether or not Merriman will return for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, so the team is prepared to start Antwan Applewhite, the second-year man out of San Diego State.
In the end, it doesn't particularly matter who starts, as both have the same thing to prove. Both players need to show the San Diego coaching staff they provide something that the Chargers need.
You can hope for some good pass rush from this side of the linebacker corps, but don't hold your breath. If Merriman does play, he may very well be out by the end of the game.
If Applewhite plays, he could have the chance to get some pressure on Derek Anderson. Levi Brown and Alan Faneca are not prone to a lot of mistakes, but considering the blitzing schemes Ron Rivera has been putting together, Applewhite could very well find his way into the offensive backfield.