Which players were the Los Angeles Chargers able to stash on the practice squad? Let’s take a look.
The practice squad is no joke.
Just because a player didn’t crack the final 53-man roster, doesn’t mean they aren’t talented, which is why many teams swoop in and claim other teams’ players during the waiver-wire period. We’ve seen Trovon Reed, who was one of the Chargers’ surprise cuts this year, get promoted from the practice squad a season ago and perform well.
A quick refresher: If a player passes through waivers unclaimed, a team has the opportunity to put said player on their practice squad. However, not all players go through waivers (Ex.: former Broncos SS T.J. Ward is a veteran who was able to sign with any team he wanted following his release). According to league rules, teams can put up to four “experienced” players–those that have two years of NFL service time–on the practice squad (an accrued season is defined as a player on an active NFL roster/injured reserve/PUP for at least six games). The remainder of the spots have to go to players that have less than two accrued seasons. A team is allowed up to 10 players on the practice squad, and this group of players won’t count against the 53-man roster.
With that said, let’s see who the Chargers have on their practice squad:
WR Artavis Scott
Scott, a 2017 undrafted free agent, was first-rounder Mike Williams’ teammate at Clemson. Scott had 19 receiving touchdowns in three seasons with the Tigers and leaves Clemson as the franchise’s all-time receptions leader with 245 career catches. Despite having talent, the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder didn’t receive much playing time in the preseason, finishing with zero catches along with one carry for 13 yards. He was a long shot to make the roster because of how deep the Chargers are at wide receiver.
CB Michael Davis
Davis turned heads during training camp. Unfortunately, he couldn’t turn his head to find the ball in preseason games. Davis always had decent coverage, but his inability to locate the football hurt him. The 2017 undrafted free agent has good size (6-2) and speed (4.34 40-yard dash), but he needs more time to learn the position.
RB Andre Williams
Williams joins the Chargers’ practice squad for the second straight year. A 2014 fourth-round pick, Williams was claimed off waivers in 2016 after the New York Giants cut him. Williams’ career started off promising after rushing for seven touchdowns his rookie year, but he’s gone downhill ever since. He only played one game for the Bolts last year (season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs), but he stood out, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. In the preseason, however, Williams finished with a team-low 1.5 yards per carry (51 yards on 33 attempts).
OG Brett Boyko
According to the team’s official website, this is Boyko’s third straight year on an NFL practice squad (2015 with the Philadelphia Eagles and majority of 2016 with the Chargers). I thought Boyko, a 2015 undrafted free agent, played well at guard and deserved a roster spot over 2017 sixth-round tackle Sam Tevi. Either way, it’s good to see him on the practice squad, because we know the Chargers need all the depth they can get at this position.
DE Whitney Richardson
The 2016 NCAA Division II Defensive Player of the Year, Richardson signed on late with the Chargers. The former Lane College defensive end recorded 17.5 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss last season. I’m all for another potential pass-rusher.
Cornerback Randall Evans and receiver Andre Patton have also been selected to the practice squad, leaving the team with three open spots.
The biggest surprise is not seeing cornerback Trovon Reed added to this list. It was only just a few months ago that Reed was one of the favorites to win the No. 3 corner job. He finished with two interceptions in six games played after being promoted to the active roster in the second half of the 2016 season. He was a player general manager Tom Telesco was really high on back in March, too. Unfortunately, a hip injury sidelined him for all of preseason. The injury might be worse than we thought. That, or he made a funny joke that Dean Spanos didn’t like.
The Chargers claimed former Broncos OL Michael Schofield and former Panthers CB Jeff Richards off waivers. CB Craig Mager and WR Geremy Davis, both of whom made the initial 53-man roster, were cut to make room for Schofield and Richards. It was a surprise to see Mager, the team’s 2015 third-round pick, make the team to begin with. He’s been hurt and hasn’t played well at all over the course of three years, so it’s good to see the Chargers cutting the bait. On the other hand, I was happy that Davis originally made the cut. The Giants’ 2015 fifth-rounder doesn’t have a ton of experience (only two career catches for 21 yards), but he flashed potential in the preseason. Hopefully, Davis lands on the practice squad.
As expected, the Chargers placed ILB Denzel Perryman (ankle) on injured reserve, but Telesco said he expects the former second-round pick back later in the season, per ESPN.