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Los Angeles Chargers training camp battles: No. 3 tight end

EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 24: Tight end Matt Sokol #81 of the Michigan State Spartans scores against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on a touchdown reception during the second quarter at Spartan Stadium on November 24, 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 24: Tight end Matt Sokol #81 of the Michigan State Spartans scores against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on a touchdown reception during the second quarter at Spartan Stadium on November 24, 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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NFL training camps are filled with players trying to keep their playing careers alive, but there are also several interesting position battles.

For most teams, many starters are already in place and the battle is for the backup job. For the Los Angeles Chargers, the team has two solid tight ends. Hunter Henry can be one of the league’s most dynamic receiving tight ends and Virgil Green is arguably the best blocking tight end out there.

But like most teams, depth is necessary at every position. So who will be the third guy in line on the team’s depth chart at the tight end position?

Sean Culkin is easily the favorite to win that spot but he will have to fend off four other players. That list includes Vince Mayle, Andrew Vollert and two undrafted rookies, Matt Sokol and Daniel Helm.

Culkin was also an undrafted rookie, coming out of Missouri in 2017. He has managed to make the team in each of the last two seasons and though he only has one career catch, that’s more than the other four guys have combined.

Regardless of who the No. 3 tight end winds up being, the Chargers likely won’t have any plans to see them on the field, barring injury. Henry or Green should end up seeing nearly 100 percent of the snaps.

Still, it’s nice to have that depth and Culkin has become a guy the Chargers clearly see something in.

Related Story. Will the emergence of Culkin make Gates history?

Mayle and Vollert are likely just along for the ride. Both Sokol and Helm offer some upside and one of them should end up on the practice squad. Culkin will end up being the No. 3 tight end.

Unless of course, the Chargers address the elephant in the room and give Antonio Gates one last run to win a Super Bowl with the team.

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