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Quotes: Jay Gruden (12-4-17)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On if there's hope for TE Jordan Reed to return:

"There's always hope [laughter]… I'll leave that to the trainers and Jordan. We'll see how he does."

On holding a brief practice today:

"Yeah, we had a couple days off there. It was just good to get them some individual work, get them back on the field, compete a little bit – two-minute, red zone, third down – some areas that we've had some trouble in, and it was a good day."

On if there are any plans to shut down injured players:

"No, we don't have any plans to shut anybody down unless it is a season-ending injury, and that's something the trainers will get back with us about. Morgan [Moses] is fighting to get back in the lineup, I know that. I know Trent [Williams] is going to try like heck to get back in the lineup. Jordan [Reed] is trying like heck to get back. Terrell McClain is trying. They're all trying to get back in the lineup."

On the mood of the team:

"Without a doubt, everybody's disappointed, there's no question. You know, we didn't play very well against Dallas, that's disappointing. Like I said, we have the fourth quarter of our season left and I have a bunch of guys out here that are going to compete and they're going to play hard no matter what the situation is. There's a reason why they're here. It's because I know they're great competitors. They're going to work hard, and they're going to get themselves ready to play [Los Angeles]." 

On how much of the change in the defense's performance can be attributed to injuries:

"Some of it. Last week we gave up, really, 23. We had the punt return for the touchdown. They played good enough early in that football game and third quarter to put us in position to win the game. Offensively, we didn't do much, and special teams, we did nothing. And then they just wore down at the end, unfortunately – in the last drive that hurt us – the 12-play drive at the end to go up 17. But, they played pretty well for the most part."

On if expiring contracts will play a factor in the competitiveness of the players:

"It could. Hopefully that's not the only reason they play hard. They're going to play hard because they want to win and want to do well. That's the reason that they're all here. We try to target guys that love football, are passionate about the game and are going to play hard no matter what. For the most part, I feel like we've got that here. So, whether you are on one year left or five years left, doesn't really matter. You've got to go out and play and compete and try to beat a very good Charger team."

On S Montae Nicholson:

"He's cleared to practice right now and we'll just take it day by day from here on out.

On what the defense has been missing in Nicholson's absence:

"Well, he hasn't been a consistent provider for us, so it's hard to say. Obviously, we love the fact that he can run and hit and do all the things you want a safety to do. But unfortunately for him, he's had the shoulder injuries and then the concussion, so it'll be good to get a great look at him the last four weeks if he is healthy enough to play. Any time you have that size, speed, that range that he has, it's a great luxury to have when he's available."

On if conversations about extending contracts are happening right now:

"Yeah, I believe so. I think Eric Schaffer is working on that as we speak. Hopefully we will get some of them done. If not, we will have to wait and try to get them."

On how involved he is in contract talks:

"Me? I'm not involved at all. No, we are game planning right now and I leave that up to Eric Schaffer and the big boys."

On if the loss of DL Jonathan Allen has hurt LB Preston Smith's production:

"Probably a little bit. Jonathan and Matt [Ioannidis], Matt has missed some time and then he is playing with that club, so a little bit. That internal pass rush is hard to replace, quite frankly. Jonathan is a great player. We have done a pretty good job of some other guys stepping in and doing that, but his numbers have been affected by, probably the lack of push – I would say – up the middle. Then probably the lack of opportunities – some third-down-and-long opportunities that we would love to have, having a lead in the game where a team is one-dimensional, that has hurt us too. We haven't had many of those lately. All of that plays a factor but he has played very good against the run and done some good things."

On if C Chase Roullier was able to snap the ball in practice:

"He did a little bit today. We will see how much he can… It is one thing to snap the ball, but it's another thing to get your snap hand out of there and be able to protect with that right hand. That's what we have to just gauge and today was a start. We will get a good look at him on Wednesday and see where he is."

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