SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Chargers acquired Chris Chambers from the Miami Dolphins just before Tuesday's trade deadline, giving quarterback Philip Rivers a veteran wide receiver to work with.
In return, the winless Dolphins will receive a 2008 second-round draft pick.
The Chargers needed to bolster their passing game due to the uncertain status of No. 1 wide receiver Eric Parker, out since June with a broken toe.
Chambers has 31 receptions for 415 yards and no touchdowns this season. He was a second-round choice by Miami in 2001 and enjoyed his best season in 2005, when he made 82 catches for 1,118 yards and 11 scores, and was voted to the Pro Bowl.
The durable Chambers, who has missed only two games in his career, is signed through 2009. The Chargers expect him to immediately bolster an otherwise young and undistinguished wide receiving corps.
"Chris is an explosive, talented player and I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to work with him again," Chargers coach Norv Turner said in a statement. Turner was Miami's offensive co-ordinator in 2002-03.
"He's a very consistent player and he has big-play ability," Turner added. "We think he can add to what we're doing on offense. The bonus for us is that he's familiar with the system. It should be a quick and easy adjustment for him. We expect him to come in and be productive right away."
San Diego's of fence struggled through the first four games, when the Chargers went 1-3. Rivers had some poor performances and reigning league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson struggled for yards. The Chargers rebounded by routing the Broncos 41-3 in Denver on Oct. 7, then beat the Oakland Raiders 28-14 last Sunday behind Tomlinson's four touchdowns rushing.
Tomlinson and tight end Antonio Gates have provided the bulk of the Chargers' offense. Tomlinson has rushed for 527 yards and six touchdowns, and caught 25 passes for 210 yards. Tomlinson's receptions are second on the team behind Gates, who has 43 catches for 547 yards and three touchdowns.
San Diego's leading wideout is Vincent Jackson, who has 20 catches for 320 yards and two scores.
The Chargers haven't had a wide receiver lead them in catches since Curtis Conway in 2001. Since then, either Tomlinson or Gates has had the most receptions.
On Monday, Turner said Parker was getting a second opinion on his right big toe. Parker broke the toe during a June minicamp, and had surgery on it in early August. The Chargers said at the time they expected Parker to be out up to 10 weeks.
Chambers ranks fifth in Dolphins history with 405 receptions, good for 5,688 yards and 43 touchdowns. He has 15 100-yard receiving games, and had at least 48 catches in each of the last six seasons. In 2001, he led all rookies with 883 yards, and his 48 receptions trailed only Tomlinson (59) among first-year players.
The trade suggests the Dolphins are looking to the future following an 0-6 start, which matches the worst in franchise history.
"This trade will give some of our younger players at that position, such as Ted Ginn and Derek Hagan, more of an opportunity this year," Dolphins general manager Randy Mueller said in a statement. "Chris did everything we asked of him and represented this organization in a first-class manner. We wish him and his family the best of luck in San Diego."
Ginn had a 32-yard reception in Sunday's loss at Cleveland.
The Dolphins are in their first season under Cam Cameron, the former offensive co-ordinator of the Chargers.
San Diego (3-3) has its bye this Sunday. Miami plays unbeaten New England.