Niners won't face Rivers, Gates tonight

The 49ers will not have to contend with two more San Diego Chargers starters in their exhibition finale Thursday. Quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates are being held out of the game at Qualcomm Stadium.

Already being held out of the game is running back LaDainian Tomlinson, the reigning NFL MVP after his record-setting season of 2006.

Niners running back Frank Gore is also expected to not play as he recovers from a broken bone in his right hand, an injury sustained in the early days of training camp. The 49ers are 1-2 in the preseason and the Chargers are 2-1.

The season opener for the Niners comes on “Monday Night Football” on Sept. 10 against the Arizona Cardinals at Monster Park.

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