San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd dunks the ball after scoring against the Kansas City Chiefs. Floyd said he needs to have at least one 1,000-yard season. (US Presswire)

The Chargers (4-4) practiced a few hours earlier than normal Thursday. It’s a pattern coach Norv Turner has carried out throughout the season when preparing to play a team in an earlier time zone. This Sunday, the Chargers travel to the East Coast to take on the Buccaneers (4-4) in what could potentially be a season-defining game.

“I’m not a big believer in the time zone problems,” Turner insisted. “Obviously, I think we have to make plans and handle it. Our guys have done a good job with that.”

Floyd eyes 1,000 yards: WR Malcom Floyd, a nine-year vet, has 33 receptions for 509 yards through this season’s first eight games. He had his best season last year with 43 receptions for 856 yards in only 12 games.

Floyd wants to hit 1,000 yards. “That would be a personal milestone for me,” he said. “I have been in the league too long, so I have to get at least one 1,000-yard season. Hopefully, this is it. I've just got to stay healthy and stay focused.”

Floyd also said he expects that Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson, his former teammate, is gearing up for a big performance. “[Jackson] is such a competitor,” Floyd said. “Even when we compete on Words with Friends, he tries to win every one. I think this will be a special game for him.”

You have to jam Jackson and Williams: Jackson and WR Michael Williams are developing into one of the most dynamic duos in the NFL. The two have a combined 60 receptions for 1,214 yards and 11 TDs this season.

“You get up there and you jam them,” defensive coordinator John Pagano said. “You’ve got to be physical with them. It’s something that we’ve been accustomed to here going against guys like Malcom [Floyd] and the tight ends that we see here in practice. Having these corners go up against Vincent [Jackson] these last four or five years is something that we’ve gotten a lot of work at. And that’s the No. 1 thing about their offense -- besides running the ball -- is the ability to go down the field and make a play.”

Gaither and Liuget downgraded: LT Jared Gaither (groin) and DE Corey Liuget (hamstring) were limited in practice Wednesday, but did not participate Thursday. “I don’t think we’re at a point where it is precautionary with anyone,” Turner said. “I think if they can practice, they can practice. We will have a better idea of where they are tomorrow.”

Phillips injuries finger: OLB Shaun Phillips, who leads the team with five sacks, injured a finger and missed about the last 10 minutes of practice.

Practice report: OLB Antwan Barnes (hamstring), LT Jared Gaither (groin) and DE Corey Liuget (hamstring) did not practice. OLB Shaun Phillips (finger) and LB Demorrio Williams (abdominal) were limited. SS Atari Bigby (quad), CB Chris Carr (quad), WR Robert Meachem (hamstring) and WR Eddie Royal (hamstring) fully participated.

What’s next: The Chargers will have a walk-thru Friday morning and fly to Tampa Bay in the afternoon.

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