Chargers Release Initial 53-Man Roster
The Los Angeles Chargers announced their initial 53-man roster following the final wave of cuts Tuesday afternoon. Barring any trades or waiver wire additions, this will be the group heading into the 2021 season, set to kick off Sunday, September 12 against the Washington Football Team. Here are some general takeaways.
The Chargers opted to cut ties with kicker Michael Badgley who has experienced a dramatic decline in accuracy over the past few seasons. Tristan Vizcaino “won” the highly anticipated battle and hopes to help rejuvenate the kicking game in Los Angeles. Coach Staley said all along that the ability to handle kick off duty was going to play a role in deciding between the two, and today he even went as far as to say that Vizcaino has a “special leg”.
Rule of Threes
At quarterback, the Chargers elected to keep three players at the position. It seems the battle between Chase Daniel and Easton Stick for the backup quarterback spot, though entertaining, was all for nothing. Staley confirmed today that all three quarterbacks are vaccinated, for what it’s worth.
The Los Angeles receiver room boasted tons of talent, making it one of the most closely monitored groups throughout training camp. Due to the abundance of depth at the position, the team knew it would be forced into some tough decisions. Ultimately, the Chargers kept five receivers and cut ties with Tyron Johnson, Joe Reed, and Michael Bandy.
Beefed Up Interior
Los Angeles decided to carry five players along the interior defensive line with 2019 seventh-round pick Cortez Broughton and fan-favorite Breiden Fehoko missing the cut. Following an explosive and disruptive showing throughout training camp, undrafted free agent Forrest Merrill rightfully earned his spot on the backend of the roster. Staley said that Merrill’s strength against the run ultimately won the day.
Rookie Linebackers Shine
Depth at the linebacker position was a point of emphasis this offseason and led to the team selecting Nick Niemann in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. The team also brought in undrafted free agent Amen Ogbongbemiga and the pair have been nothing short of spectacular this preseason. Niemann led all Chargers players (and the NFL) in tackles in exhibition play while Ogbongbemiga has delivered some heavy hits in run support. Both should have an immediate impact on special teams.
Talented Corner Room
The Chargers are extremely deep at cornerback with the team electing to keep six players. Three-year veteran Brandon Facyson has missed much of training camp while dealing with some family issues but has impressed the staff enough to earn a spot. Tevaughn Campbell, the former CFL product, will bring an influx of speed to the Los Angeles secondary while 2019 undrafted free agent Kemon Hall offers great versatility.Here’s the full 53-man roster
Quarterbacks (3): Justin Herbert, Daniel, and Stick
Fullback (1): Gabe Nabers
Let us know what you thought about the Chargers decisions in the comments!