Now that the roster has been trimmed down to 53 players, the all important question is: who’s starting? The team has given out their first “unofficial” depth chart for the season and there are some interesting things going on.
Virgil Green is Chargers TE1 over Antonio Gates, according to the "unofficial" Week 1 depth chart.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) September 4, 2018
Anthony Lynn said yesterday that Gates will be on a snap count this weekend. https://t.co/fkbXycGGGr pic.twitter.com/oGhecpYWGI
Let’s start with offense. Forrest Lamp is not starting...yet. This is pretty predictable. Lamp only played in one preseason game and at kickoff on Sunday will only have about 2 weeks of practice time. This is the right move but I doubt it stays this way for long.
Antonio Gates has not practiced for the team yet but he is already TE2. That is probably in name only at this point. Sean Culkin is a superior blocker and is in game shape and will likely out-snap Gates this weekend.
Everything else is pretty straight forward for the offense.
On Defense, things are probably more fluid and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the depth chart change before Sunday.
First, Jatavis Brown and Kyle Emanuel starting at the OLB spots over rookies Uchenna Nwosu and Kyzir White. I don’t think Emanuel and Brown will be able to hold off the rookies for long, and regardless of their status as “starters” on this depth chart, Nwosu and White will rotate in heavily.
This first version of the depth chart also has Rayshawn Jenkins over Derwin James. Sure. That one probably won’t even last until game time. With how quickly we have seen Derwin develop during the preseason, he’s got to be the starter on Sunday.
Finally on special teams, I find it curious that JJ Jones was kept on the roster as a kick return specialist, but is still listed behind Travis Benjamin for Punt Returner, and behind both Desmond King AND Austin Ekeler for Kick Returner. I don’t buy that either, I think he will be deep to return kicks on Sunday.