As you are probably well aware of by now, the Los Angeles Chargers spent the day trimming down their roster to the required 53. A lot went as expected, but there were some surprises that most people did not see coming. Here are the three I found most interesting.
Dwight Lowery Released
Back when the other BFTB writers and I did our roundtable prediction for “Biggest surprise cut”, I picked Dwight Lowery to be that guy. If I'm being honest though, my selection of Lowery at that time was more based on what I thought should happen as opposed to what I thought would happen. I said that Lowery had not shown much in his first season as a Charger, with the addition of Tre Boston the Chargers had little use for Lowery as an overpriced backup. Turns out the Chargers agreed.
The departure of Dwight Lowery leaves the Chargers with Jahleel Addae, Tre Boston, Dexter McCoil, Adrian Phillips, and rookie Rayshawn Jenkins to man the back end of the defense.
Craig Mager Makes the Roster, Michael Davis Does Not
I thought for sure Mager had suited up in a Chargers uniform for the last time. With over a week before the season opener, maybe he has. But for right now he is still a Charger. Mager’s preseason play was lackluster, and with UDFA Michael Davis getting work with the first team defense throughout camp and preseason, it didn't look good for the former 3rd round pick. All signs pointed to Davis taking Mager’s roster spot. In the end though, the coaches opted to keep the veteran rather than taking a chance on the talented rookie.
Austin Ekeler Takes the RB3 Spot
With how many opportunities the team was giving Andre Williams in the preseason, it seemed like they wanted more than anything for him to give the coaches a reason to keep him. Part of me thought they would, no matter who deserved it more. Austin Ekeler had other plans. The UDFA was by far the best RB not named Melvin Gordon or Branden Oliver, and the team was forced to take notice. It’s always great to see a small school kid force his way onto an NFL roster. It’s unclear exactly how much Ekeler will play this season, but he’ll have earned every snap he gets.
Bonus: Younghoe Koo Beats out Josh Lambo
I’m sure a good majority of us wanted this to happen, but how many actually thought it would? The Chargers are set to give the South Korean born rookie a chance to kick his way into the hearts of Chargers fans everywhere.
(Author’s note: Not to appear braggadocious, but I totally called this one too in my “Training camp battles to watch” piece.)