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Chargers elect 9 captains for the 2023 season

Many familiar faces and one new addition with serve as captains for the Bolts.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

This afternoon, released on update that the Bolts had elected their captains for the 2023 season.

Offensive Captains

Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Corey Linsley will be leading the way on the offensive side of the ball. These men all provide crucial production for the offense, but they are also great leaders in the locker room.

Keenan Allen has spoke time and time again what mentors like Antonio Gates and Stevie Johnson meant to him as a younger player on the Chargers, and how he hopes to provide similar mentorship to the younger players underneath him now that he’s a vet.

Austin Ekeler challenges the running backs every offseason to work their way onto the roster as he once did as an undrafted free agent, and continues to inspire them to come take carries from him.

Word out of camp is that Justin Herbert is becoming more vocal, and many players on the team mentioned this offseason that they’d like to see him take that next step to taking over the offense, similar to how Philip Rivers had done in the past.

Corey Linsley rounds out the leadership as an elder statesman on an otherwise very young offensive line.

Defensive Captains

On the defensive side of the ball, we have Derwin James Jr, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Khalil Mack, and newcomer Eric Kendricks donning the captains “C.”

DJ is a no-brainer for this unit, as he’s provided unparallelled energy, optimism, and performance in the defensive backfield since being drafted in 2018. Now in his second contract, Derwin is becoming a true veteran leader with expertise and wisdom to share with players like JT Woods.

I wouldn’t matter if Khalil Mack was given a “C” or not - his teammates would run through a wall for him regardless. He took it upon himself to organize weekly dinners with the defense last year - on his dime - and has already expressed he’ll continue to do so again.

Sebastian Joseph-Day is all smiles off the field, but he’s also one of the first players to hold someone accountable. Given his constant joyous demeanor, it can be a shock to see him tearing into a teammate on the sidelines between drives, but it’s clear his teammates appreciate that he holds a high standard.

Eric Kendricks was brought on to fill Drue Tranquill’s old spot, another player that was highly regarded by his teammates. Kendricks was a captain for the Vikings last year, and was an anchor for that defense for eight seasons. As the biggest acquisition of the offseason, Kendricks joins a team in “win-now” mode with high expectations for his contributions.

Special Teams

Josh Harris enters his 12th NFL season as a captain for the first time in his NFL career. Charger fans are familiar with the impact a consistent long snapper can have on the special teams, and it’s great to see Harris get recognized for the role he plays for the unit.

Interesting Omission

Despite being one of the most talented players on the roster since he was drafted in 2016, it took Joey Bosa until 2021 to earn the captain’s patch on his chest, which he was awarded a second time in 2022. After having a significant meltdown in the playoff loss to the Jaguars, Joey’s teammates went another direction at captain for the 2023 season.

He did take accountability for some recent mistakes in a Twitter post this offseason, so hopefully we see Joey come back to form this season.