By: Kurtis Gefrom of Bolt Banter
At 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, all NFL Teams will meet the deadline of cutting down their roster from 75 to 53. Going into Week 4 of Preseason, the Chargers have 75 + Bosa on their squad. They will have to say goodbye to 23 players by Saturday. That being said, there are many Chargers fighting for a spot on this team to make it on the final 53.
Pay Attention to:
Running Backs: With the huge loss of Branden Oliver (torn Achilles) for the entire season, behind Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead is a mystery and a possible battle for a roster spot. Recent acquisition Gus Johnson and Kenneth Farrow will be fighting for a roster spot in tonight’s game.
Wide Receivers: A few days ago, veteran WR James Jones was cut from the team, opening up an extra spot to make the squad. With Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, Dontrelle Inman and Tyrell Williams as locks for the top four receivers making the squad. There’s room for at least two more receivers on the squad. Rasheed Bailey, DeAndre Reaves, Isaiah Burse and Dom Williams will all be battling it out tonight for a roster spot tonight. Also, note that DeAndre Reaves and Isaiah Burse may be competing for KR/PR jobs.
D-Line: With Damion Square out the first 4 games and NT Sean Lissemore gone and now Joey Bosa a question mark in how involved he will be, the other guys need to be ready. Ryan Carrethers, Tenny Palepoi, and Chuka Ndulue will be the trio to watch. All three have a high chance of making the team. How they perform tonight can determine a lot of things, including how involved in the rotation they will be come Week 1.
Safeties: With Addae and Lowery as starters, there’s a mix of backups that are competing for a spot. Darrell Stuckey hasn’t had a standout preseason really. Dexter McCoil is getting some attention. Adrian Phillips didn’t look great against the Vikings, but has built a good reputation. Adrian McDonald has been trying to make a case for himself behind all these guys. We’ll see if anyone makes a statement tonight to earn them a roster spot.
LB Jatavis Brown: Coach McCoy is excited about Jatavis and tonight we should see a lot of him. He was known for being a hard hitter in college and having him in the LB rotation could be great. Look for this guy to shine tonight.
CB Craig Mager: Mager has gotten a lot of praise for improvement leading up to the 2016 Season. He should have a good amount of playing time tonight, let’s see if he has truly improved.
Gametime is 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on CBS! BOLT UP!!! How to watch? Click here for details.
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Things to Watch For:
Starters: We may see all our starters for the entire 1st half, so this is a crucial game to pay close attention to. How we perform as a team with our starters will be a good gauge of how ready we are for the season.
Philon in starting DE position/Emanuel in OLB Position: With Joey Bosa still on his holdout. There are 2 possible spots that he could have been starting at, most likely DE, but possibly OLB. We should pay close attention to the progress DE Darius Philon has made during this training camp and how he performs tonight, as we have heard about his great progress. Also, lookout for OLB Kyle Emanuel, who passed up OLB Jeremiah Attaochu this training camp on the depth chart. If DE Philon/OLB Emmanuel don’t miss a beat, then it could put more pressure on the Bosa camp to focus on football and not money Lookout for Emanuel and Philon.
D-Line Depth: With Sean Lissemore going out on the IR for the season and Damion Square now suspended the first four games, there’s a chance for a good amount of young and new D Linemen fill his spot. Being that Lissemore was so involved in the rotation last year, look for a versatile lineman who could sneak into his role this year.
O-Line Depth: With Donavon Clark suffering a torn ACL ending his season, Franklin being banged up and Fluker being injured. The depth at O-Line is already being tested. We can’t afford a repeat of last season, so let’s hope our starting O-Line stays healthy.
Cohesive and Energetic Defense: We saw our starting defense fuel themselves with energy via turnovers. If their momentum continues in this game, it is something that could be vital in having a successful defense this year as we move into the Regular Season.
Players to Watch For:
RB Melvin Gordon – In the first preseason game, Gordon scored his first NFL Touchdown. He has looked great in camp following his surgery. Look for him to continue to emerge today in the starting offense. Look for him to boost his yards per cary this game; last game his avg wasn’t super impressive, hope for improvement.
RB Branden Oliver – BO has had an amazing camp so far and had some good runs in Tenneesee. He could really make a huge impact this year even as a 3rd string back. Lookout for his confidence and speed on the field.
The Free Agent Pickups: S Dwight Lowery, NT Brandon Mebane, WR Travis Benjamin, C/G Matt Slauson, CB Casey Hayward – These guys should ALL have huge impacts for this team. Once again, lookout for these new faces tonight and the last preseason game.
Draft picks – TE Hunter Henry, FB Derek Watt, LB Joshua Perry, LB Jatavis Brown – Hunter Henry is your rookie to watch tonight on offense once again. Not only is he being mentored by Antonio Gates, but he could be our Tight End for years to come. Hunter is extremely talented; it is very exciting to have a guy like him on your team. Derek could play a huge role on our offense this year, look for how he leads the way for Gordon.
CB Brandon Flowers – Last season, Brandon had a rough year. He’s verbally expressed he is trying to change that in 2016. He had a pick six last week following blown coverage. Let’s look for a flawless Flowers this game.
S Adrian Phillips – If Philips has a great preseason, maybe an interception/good performance tonight, he could continue to be a competitive bid for rotating in at Safety. As of now, Lowery and Addae are set to start.
Gametime is 10am PT/1pm ET on FOX! BOLT UP!!! How to watch? Click here for details.
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