The Los Angeles Chargers have hit Week 2 of training camp.
For many veterans who are guaranteed a roster spot, this process is nothing more than a formality before the real action begins. However, others use it as a time to prove they still belong, or belong for the first time.
This summer, a handful of Chargers have made the most of the practice process. These are players who, whether you’ve been to camp or read through the various reports from Ricky Henne and Hayley Elwood on the team’s official website, you know have stepped up.
Most of these players don’t have a spot on the roster locked down, but each of them is making a case for the final 53-man roster.
An undrafted rookie out of California in 2014, Chris McCain has made the rounds in the NFL, as the Chargers are his fourth team. He made little impact with the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints (twice) and Dallas Cowboys.
But that could be changing as McCain has found a role in Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme.
He is all over the field at camp and consistently gets pressure on the quarterback. Though he only has two career quarterback sacks, McCain appears to be a guy who could rack up several more as a situational pass rusher.
There could be a spot on the roster for this guy.
The Chargers brought in a strong undrafted rookie class that included several players with good chances of making the team. But none of those guys has looked better than Michael Davis, who is starting to cement a spot on the final 53-man roster.
Yes, the undrafted rookie from BYU has applied tight pressure and made great plays on the ball, including a pick-six in one practice.
The secondary is going to be one of the strengths of this year’s Chargers team, and this guy is going to have a chance to grow with it for years to come.
There are few Chargers fans who wouldn’t say that Travis Benjamin was a disappointment in 2016.
After making some big plays on a terrible Cleveland Browns team, many thought he would be a huge weapon for the team. But that just didn’t happen.
Benjamin caught just 47 passes in his first year with the team.
But in camp, he has looked like a completely different player. His routes are more crisp, his hands have been better and he somehow looks even quicker. He and Philip Rivers have connected on some pretty deep balls and there’s a good chance you’ll see a lot of that this season.
After being injured and lost for the season during the preseason last year, Jeff Cumberland is making the most of his chance in camp this year, knowing that his chances are likely running thin.
Cumberland has never been known as much of a receiver, but he’s catching everything thrown his way in camp this year. He also has some extra motivation after welcoming a new child into the world.
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said TE Jeff Cumberland missed practice for the birth of his child, a 6 1/2… https://t.co/MynLsMZ0Fh
— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) August 8, 2017
In addition, reserve tight end Sean McGrath has made several plays in camp as well and with Asante Cleveland being released, the tight end competition is really heating up and will be interesting to follow as camp and preseason games go on.
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A player most fans likely wrote off as having no chance to make the team, Isaiah Burse is having a solid camp.
As Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Benjamin all sat out practice on Tuesday, Burse had the opportunity to run with the first-team offense, and he kept up quite well, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN.
Burse has been doing this wile dealing with a torn labrum which he suffered right as camp opened.
Entering his fourth year in the league, Burse, who was born in Modesto, California and played at Fresno State in college, can also aid the team as a punt and kick returner.
He’ll still be a longshot to make the squad, but he has certainly put his best foot forward and likely earned a ton of respect in the process for playing through injury.