Bolt Beat Roundtable: Which player on the roster bubble can play his way onto the team?
By Travis Wakeman
The Los Angeles Chargers are hours away from taking the field for their final preseason game of the year against the San Francisco 49ers.
Though much of the action in the last preseason game can be considered by most fans to be “boring”, it is extremely important for those players looking for one final showcase before roster cuts are made.
The team is set to cut around 35 players following this game and players will be doing whatever they can to make sure they’re not on the wrong side of those decisions. If you enjoy players performing in that type of setting, preseason game No. 4 is for you.
A handful of the writers here at Bolt Beat got together and discussed a couple of topics regarding this preseason and the final 53-man roster. Check out this week’s two-part question.
Q: Which player do you feel played his way onto the final 53-man roster this summer and which player would you like to see do that in the final preseason game against the 49ers?
Kade Dohmen: “I think with all the safeties on the roster and the lack of a clear front-runner for the free safety spot, I was definitely looking for someone out of the group of Tre Boston, Dwight Lowery, Dexter McCoil or any of the others to step up. Plus, with so many players of a similar talent level, it wasn’t a guarantee that all of them would make the roster. That said, I think McCoil has shown off a lot this preseason, especially with his game against the Saints. As for a player I would like to see claim his spot on the roster, I’m looking at the skill positions. I hope to see one of Geremy Davis, Jamaal Jones, Austin Ekeler, Kenjon Barner or Andre Williams go off against the Niners and claim his spot as yet another weapon and depth behind some injury-prone starters. Especially with rumors of trading Inman, seeing Jones or Davis step up would be encouraging.”
Scott Iger: “I feel that Chris McCain has easily played his way onto the final 53-man roster, and considering the ranks of our defensive line, that is an impressive feat. He has stood out not only in training camp, but also has made his presence known throughout the preseason. As for a player that I would like to see stand out in the last preseason game and potentially make the team, it would have to be Nigel Harris for me. As of now, I am not completely sure whether or not the Chargers already plan to give him a roster spot, but what I have seen out of him thus far in the preseason has impressed me. Also, with the injury to Perryman, Harris could serve as useful depth during the regular season at the linebacker position during Perryman’s absence.”
Anthony Totri: “Is there any question who the Chargers’ offensive star has been thus far? It’s been all Travis Benjamin. It seems like every game he has scored a sensational touchdown, sparking the fans and his teammates. Now there was rumor he was on the chopping block after a rough 2016 season. Not only can that be thrown out the window, but I think fellow wide receiver Dontrelle Inman should spend some more time studying Benjamin’s game. Inman has plenty of potential, fans have seen it, but without a strong performance against the 49ers ,he may not get another chance to show it.”
Matt Pagels: “I think DE Chris McCain is the guy who played his way onto the roster. He’s had a heck of a preseason, showing that he has the ability to rush the passer. Not only that, but DE Jerry Attaochu has been dealing with a hamstring injury, so there needs to be more depth at the LEO position. As for the final preseason game, I’d like one of the backup RBs to shine. Aside from Melvin Gordon and Branden Oliver, none of the others had stood out. Let’s see if Andre Williams, Kenjon Barner or Austin Ekeler can make a last-minute impact. If not, expect Tom Telesco to look elsewhere.”
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Travis Wakeman: “There’s no question that Chris McCain is the guy who played his way onto the roster, but I’d also like to mention Desmond King. Now, it was pretty much known he would make the team from the time he was drafted, but t wasn’t known how much of an impact he’d have as a rookie. He’s had perhaps the best preseason of any player on the roster and as a result, he shown coaches he should be used as often as possible this season.
As for the guy that I’d like to see make a push to make the team against the 49ers, it’s easily Austin Ekeler. I’ve talked him up all summer and truly believe in his abilities. I’m looking for him to push himself ahead of Andre Williams and Kenjon Barner and make an argument to be the team’s No. 3 running back. No, I’m not kidding.”
So there you have it. Now it’s your turn. Which player impressed you the most this summer and who makes the team after showing out against the 49ers? Let us know in the comment section below.