If fans of the Los Angeles Chargers were asked to identify a weak link along the offensive line, most all of them would likely point the finger at Joe Barksdale.
There’s a chance that the team feels the same way and could be looking around at other options. Last season, Michael Schofield filled in for him in five games and didn’t play bad. What are the chances the team is looking at a permanent switch this season?
After being released by the Denver Broncos prior to the start of last season, Schofield was picked up on waivers by the Chargers. He played in 15 games for the team and is a versatile lineman, able to contribute at guard as well.
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With a season in Los Angeles under his belt, its likely that Schofield won some supporters with his play last season. Barksdale’s play, combined with his injury last season, may have some in the organization seeing him as a declining player.
At the very least, this is a training camp position battle to keep tabs on. There should be no way that Barksdale has a starting position locked up. Schofield is younger and quicker, though he does give up experience to Barksdale, who will be entering his fourth season with the Bolts.
Ultimately, it could be the opinion of Philip Rivers that matters most. Which one of these guys is he most comfortable playing with? There’s even a chance that Sam Tevi could be in the conversation.
Either way, Barksdale has competition.
The Chargers have few weaknesses, at least on paper. But right tackle does appear to be one of them. The player that gives Rivers the best chance of staying upright should win the job, and that very well may not be Barksdale.