COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Chargers open training camp July 25 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Here’s our projection for the 53-man roster heading into training camp.
In his third season with the team, backup quarterback Cardale Jones has to play well during the preseason to earn a roster spot over Stick, a fifth-round selection by the Chargers in this year’s draft. Taylor gives the Chargers insurance should the league’s most durable quarterback in Rivers succumb to injury.
Perhaps the deepest position on the roster, Gordon, supposing he doesn't go through with his holdout or trade demands, will once again serve as the team’s bell-cow running back. However, Coach Anthony Lynn wants to make sure that Gordon is fresh for another potential postseason run, which means Ekeler, Jackson and Newsome could get more touches earlier this season.
FULLBACK: (1): Derek Watt
The Wisconsin product is recovering from shoulder surgery, so his availability at the start of the season is a question mark. Jeremy Cox is the backup for Watt.
The Chargers will miss vertical threat Tyrell Williams, who signed with the Oakland Raiders in free agency. However, Mike Williams will fill the void. Benjamin should be more involved in the offense and Davis showed improvement last season. Scott has ability to make plays after the catch.
A year removed from ACL knee surgery, Henry performed well during offseason work and appears ready to resume his role as the team’s No. 1 pass-catching tight end. While currently not on the roster, the Chargers have not closed the door on a possible return of Antonio Gates.
The uncertain health status of Okung heading into training camp is a major concern for the Chargers, particularly because of the inexperience behind the Oklahoma State product at the tackle position. Feeney and Lamp will compete for time at left guard.
The Chargers have perhaps the best pass-rushing edge duo in the NFL in Bosa and Ingram. Tillery, a first-round selection in this year’s draft out of Notre Dame, should help push the pocket as an interior pass rusher in obvious passing situations.
Due to a lack of depth at the end of the season last year at this position, the Chargers predominantly played seven defensive backs in the postseason. So expect the Bolts to keep an overflow of linebackers this year to protect from a repeat of that happening in 2019.
Expect to see James even more at the line of scrimmage with the Chargers selecting rangy free safety Adderley in the second round of this year’s draft. Jenkins had a good offseason and will compete for playing time at free safety with Adderley.
After hobbling through 2018 with a balky knee, Williams looks healthy and will compete for the starting cornerback job with Davis, while King is one of the best slot defenders in the NFL.
The Chargers finally found a consistent kicker in Badgley, who made 15 of 16 field goals last season, including a franchise-best 59 yarder.