In one of those strange little coincidences of NFL life, on the day the Eagles signed a right tackle to a new contract, Jon Runyan signed one as well, agent Ben Dogra confirmed last night.

Runyan's deal was for 1 year with the San Diego Chargers, who placed right tackle Jeromey Clary on injured reserve yesterday. Clary injured his left ankle in Sunday's victory over Denver.

The Eagles thought Shawn Andrews was going to replace Runyan on the right side of their offensive line when they let Runyan walk into free agency, right after he underwent microfracture knee surgery. Andrews' back problems kept that from happening. But sub Winston Justice has played so well, the Eagles extended Justice's contract for 4 years yesterday. At the news conference announcing that deal, there were questions about where Andrews fits in now, but none about Runyan.

Runyan, who turns 36 Friday, played in 192 successive NFL games before this season. He joined the Eagles as a free agent from the Tennessee Titans in 2000 and was a cornerstone of the team's turnaround into a perennial playoff contender under Andy Reid.

Runyan did not return phone calls last night. He worked out for three teams, including the Eagles, earlier this season, and the Birds never completely closed the door on his return, but indications were he had not regained sufficient mobility when that evaluation occurred, more than 2 months ago.

It is unclear how the signing might affect Runyan's professed interest in running for the U.S. Congress in New Jersey's Third District. He has said he will not move his family from South Jersey, regardless of where he ends up playing, but even so, football tends to be a fulltime job.