2023 Chargers 53-Man Roster Roundup

Cuts have been made and the Chargers 53-man roster is now official. Who made the final roster?

The Chargers 53-man roster was announced on Tuesday. Here’s who made the squad:

Chargers 53-Man Roster: Offense

Quarterback (2):

Justin Herbert, Easton Stick

Max Duggan was waived on Monday so it’s not a shocker that the Chargers only have two quarterbacks on their roster. Stick has been getting the bulk of the work during the preseason games and it’s clear they’ve been grooming him to be the backup. Duggan was also just added to the practice squad, so we possibly haven’t seen the last of him in a Chargers uniform. I’m hoping we don’t get to the point where we need to resort to the third-string quarterback during the season.

Running Backs (4):

Elijah Dotson, Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, Isaiah Spiller

I’m psyched for Dotson as he really distinguished himself during the preseason games and carved out a place for himself on the roster.

Full Back (0):  

As of Wednesday, Zander Horvath was waived and linebacker Tanner Muse was claimed off waivers. I do hope Horvath can make it onto the practice squad as he was so consistent last season.

Wide Receivers (5):

Keenan Allen, Derius Davis, Quentin Johnston, Josh Palmer, Mike Williams

Since Davis will mostly be taking special teams snaps, Daniel Popper of The Athletic and others thought that maybe the Chargers would keep six receivers on the roster for just a bit more depth. Still, there’s only five as Jalen Guyton is on the physically unable-to-perform list.

Out of the wide receivers that were waived, like John Hightower, some had some splashes during preseason, but not enough to make the roster. Keelan Doss was the only receiver I noticed outside of the ones rostered, as he did have quite a few receptions during the preseason games, including a 14-yard gain during the matchup against the Saints. He ended up on the practice squad so he’ll be an excellent stash option if they’re in need of more depth.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
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Tight Ends (4):

Gerald Everett, Tre’ McKitty, Donald Parham, Jr., Stone Smartt

Smartt has really carved out his spot, making the most of every rep during the preseason. Hunter Kampmoyer is the only one I would’ve added to this list as he did come alive during the last preseason matchup, especially with that receiving touchdown. He was added to the practice squad.

Offensive Line (9):

Will Clapp, Brenden Jaimes, Zion Johnson, Corey Linsley, Jordan McFadden, Trey Pipkins III, Foster Sarell, Jamaree Salyer, Rashawn Slater

Very early in the summer, after the first week of preseason, Daniel Popper wasn’t sure they would pick Jaimes as they already had a backup in Clapp, but maybe that’s why they kept him, as he can play guard and center, and did a pretty good job at center during preseason.

Austen Pleasants and Zack Bailey both played at guard and tackle during camp and both have been added to the practice squad. I definitely thought that Bailey would end up on the practice squad as he only allowed one sack, very few pressures, no hits, and one hurry during the preseason games. Regarding Pleasants, I’m hoping he won’t get the opportunity to play since he did struggle in pass protection during the preseason.

Chargers 53-Man Roster: Defense

NFL: Preseason-New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers
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Defensive Line (6):

Morgan Fox, Christopher Hinton, Austin Johnson, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Scott Matlock, Nick Williams

With Otito Ogbonnia still on the physically unable-to-perform (PUP) list, this roster selection makes sense. Matlock showed off his pass-rushing abilities during this preseason, so he’s certainly earned a spot. Hinton joined the Chargers mid-season last year to add much-needed depth in the midst of a lot of injuries.

Brandon Staley said on the first day of OTAs that Williams, who played on the Giants last year, could play any of the middle three, so his versatility should do a lot for them. CJ Okoye will serve on the practice squad and it makes sense that Christian Covington is also on the practice squad as he was mostly a depth piece last year and he’s also coming back from a pec injury that took him out mid-season. 

Outside Linebackers (4): 

Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, Chris Rumph II, Tuli Tuipulotu 

Rumph really stepped up during preseason looking much improved from last year. Tuipulotu will make a great depth piece. Carlo Kemp would have been my other choice for this position, as he was often on my radar during these last few preseason games, but I do understand the decision to go with Rumph, given how much he’s developed physically. 

Inside Linebackers (6): 

Daiyan Henley, Eric Kendricks, Kenneth Murray Jr., Nick Niemann, Amen Ogbongbemiga, Tanner Muse 

Henley has shown up and shown out in preseason as has Murray, so all of these are no surprise. Niemann and Ogbongbemig will pick back up on special teams as they did last year. 

Muse was just added on Wednesday to the roster as he was claimed off waivers. Muse has been on his share of teams before making it to the Chargers including the Raiders, Seahawks, and most recently the Steelers. He’s played the most for the Seahawks in a handful of games in 2022. Staley said in his press conference that he’s a core special team player, so it’s likely that will be where he fits. 

NFL: Preseason-New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Backs (10):

Michael Davis, AJ Finley, Alohi Gilman, J.C. Jackson, Derwin James, Jr., Raheem Layne, Deane Leonard, Asante Samuel, Jr., Ja’Sir Taylor, JT Woods

Leonard will most likely be working in special teams as he did last year. Safety, Finley was a bit of a surprise as I did hear about a couple of great plays he made during camp but he didn’t stand out as much during the preseason games. Derrick Ansley in his press conference on Tuesday said that they liked Finley’s consistency and how he performed in camp.

I do wish that Cam Brown had made the roster or at least a practice squad position given how much he stood out, especially during that last preseason game, but who knows, perhaps we haven’t seen the last of Brown on the Chargers.

Special Teams Specialists (3)

Cameron Dicker, Josh Harris, JK Scott

The big story of this part of the roster is Dicker who is officially the lone kicker on the roster after Dustin Hopkins was traded. Considering he has less injury history and has been so consistent, it’s understandable the Chargers would go through with the trade and bet on Dicker. Here’s hoping he gets 100% extra points and field goals attempted this year.