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Chargers Coming to Cards' Facility

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Cardinals running  back Marcel Shipp poses with a Dolphins' fan while collecting for San Diego wildfire victims when the Chargers moved a game to Arizona in 2003.

With wildfires engulfing much of southern California, the San Diego Chargers will be traveling to Arizona this week and practicing at the Cardinals' Tempe facility.

The Chargers will practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It has not yet been determined if the Chargers' home game against Houston will be moved to Arizona this weekend.

University of Phoenix Stadium is not available Sunday, so for a game to take place in the Cardinals' home, it would have to be moved to Monday. There is a possibility the Chargers could play at Sun Devil Stadium.

"The wildfires have disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the San Diego area and we certainly have all of those individuals in our thoughts and prayers," Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said in a statement from Philadelphia, where he is taking part in the NFL's owners meetings.

"As it relates to the Chargers, we've assured them our organization is able to assist in making what is a very difficult situation more bearable."

Chargers president Dean Spanos and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell approached the Bidwills Monday morning to begin discussions about the move. The fires have forced thousands to evacuate, including some Chargers players, coaches and organizational employees.

The timing is perfect for the Cardinals, who are on their bye week. The team has one scheduled practice Wednesday morning. The Chargers expect to begin practicing that afternoon, although final details have not yet been finalized.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said the teams' schedules "meshed pretty well."

"Whenever you have a team that is going through the issues they are going through, you want to do whatever you can to help them out. This is a good time for us," Whisenhunt said. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to them. Anything we can do to help them."

The Cardinals have helped out the Chargers in a similar circumstance in 2003, when wildfires forced a Chargers game against Miami to be played at Sun Devil Stadium. That shift was done in a 24-hour window.

This time, however, the Chargers can't stay in San Diego with fires out of control and the air quality getting worse by the hour.

"Obviously there is more to life than football," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers told Chargers.com. "We all know that, but football is very important to all of us."

The Chargers have had to scramble to find hotel accommodations for such a large party for the week.

The team knows where it will practice, but must figure out such weekly basics as how they want to do their laundry and how they will cut and edit practice video on a daily basis – important details for any team preparing for a game each week.

"It's already a disruption for them having to move," Whisenhunt said. "You'd like for them to have as normal of a schedule as they can."


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 10/22/07

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