SAN DIEGO- Anthony Spencer returned to practice Monday, working in full pads for the first time since the opening week of training camp.
A hamstring injury held Spencer out of an intra-squad scrimmage and each of the first two preseason games. Spencer said before departing Oxnard, Calif., that he wasn't concerned about the preseason and his primary goal was to return for the regular season opener Sept. 5 against the Giants.
After practicing against the Chargers on Monday, it appears he could be healthy enough to play Saturday against the Rams. He said his status for the weekend will depend on how he feels Tuesday.
"I'm taking my time," Spencer said. "I'm going to see how I feel in the morning. Right now, I feel good. I didn't have any problems during practice. I'm just going to go and listen to my body and whatever it's telling me I'm just going to do from there."
Spencer finished fourth on the team with 74 tackles and second with 6.0 sacks last season. He's managed to stay healthy the last three seasons, playing in all 16 games in each of those years.
Spencer, who signed his franchise tender in April, said he felt rusty at the beginning of the day but got better as his hamstring loosened up.
Victor Butler has filled in at first-team outside linebacker in Spencer's stead, recording a sack on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers on San Diego's first drive in Saturday's preseason game. Spencer said he's not concerned he's behind mentally after missing the last two weeks.
"I know the defense, I've watched the defense, I've studied the defense," Spencer said. "I'm not really worried about that aspect of it. I'm just worried about the footwork, the drops, the depth, how deep I need to be, and stuff like that. The feel of the game is what I'm missing right now."