Rookie Harris to protect Rivers vs Raiders



SAN DIEGO (AP) — NFL debuts don’t come much bigger than the one Mike Harris will have Monday night for the San Diego Chargers.

The undrafted rookie will be counted on for nothing less than helping to keep Philip Rivers in one piece in the opener on the road against the rival Oakland Raiders.

Harris will start against the team he rooted for as a kid because Jared Gaither, who helped stabilize the floundering Bolts late last season, wants to be fully recovered from back spasms before returning. Gaither has been out since July 28 and the Chargers don’t know when to expect him back.

Harris isn’t flinching in the face of the big assignment, which is to protect Rivers’ blind side.