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WEB EXCLUSIVE

Castillo cleared to play

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers hit the midway point in their week's preparation for Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game against the Patriots at Qualcomm Stadium. They wrapped up practice in mid-afternoon on a surprisingly chilly San Diego afternoon -- with temperatures barely breaking 50 degrees and scant signs of sunshine.

Charger defensive end Luis Castillo, who spent a month on the inactive list recovering from an injured ankle that sidelined him in weeks 9-12 was cleared by coach Marty Schottenheimer to play early in the week and at the end of practice pronounced himself fit and ready for Sunday.

"I can't wait," said Castillo after the afternoon workout.

According to Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, the fact that San Diego has the best record in the NFL (14-2) means nothing, and "The 17 sacks, the three Super Bowl rings [the Patriots have] mean nothing," said Merriman.

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