LA Chargers News

Chargers most intriguing non-starters to watch against Cardinals

BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Kyzir White #44 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball back after making an interception during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on September 16, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Kyzir White #44 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball back after making an interception during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on September 16, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 11: Defensive back A.J. Howard #42 of the Arizona Cardinals attempts to knock the ball from tight end Sean Culkin #80 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the preseason NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 11: Defensive back A.J. Howard #42 of the Arizona Cardinals attempts to knock the ball from tight end Sean Culkin #80 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the preseason NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Chargers: Sean Culkin, Tight End

Sean Culkin just won’t go away. Though he’s only caught one pass in his entire NFL career (a beauty at that), Culkin seems to have a great deal of support from both the fans and coaches. At this point, he’s third on the tight end depth chart behind Hunter Henry and Virgil Green. It’s unlikely he unseats either of the two men in front of him, even with a strong preseason performance. But given the problematic history of Henry’s health, and the potential out the Chargers have with Green’s contract in 2020 as he turns 32, Culkin may be given a few extra looks to see what he could bring to the team in the future. If given the opportunity to make the roster, he could have a season similar to John Phillips’ back in 2015, where he caught ten passes for 69 yards and a touchdown with the Chargers.

Chargers: Emeke Egbule, Outside Linebacker

Emeke Egbule is a big person, and it shows when one watches him practice when he’s out there in pads. Though “only” 6’2″ and 245 pounds, he appears much bigger in person than expected.

Egbule will be heavily featured on special teams throughout this contest, but his appearance as an outside linebacker once Uchenna Nwosu steps out will be the most intriguing. Though Nwosu is slated as the starter, there isn’t much behind him except No. 51. As it currently stands, Egbule is actually the only drafted Chargers rookie to be listed as a second-string player on the team’s first unofficial depth chart. Not Jerry Tillery, not Drue Tranquill, and not Trey Pipkins (not counting him as second-string with Russell Okung out); just Egbule. He’s far more athletic on film than Kyle Emanuel was, and fans may find him to be a dark horse candidate for preseason MVP.

Chargers: Tyrod Taylor, Quarterback

Easton Stick could also get the nod here, but Tyrod Taylor is by far the more experienced and more accomplished NFL player. Paying for health insurance stinks; that is, until you have to stay at the hospital for a week. With Taylor, it’s roughly the same: He’s the expensive insurance in case Philip Rivers is forced to miss time. Fans have watched the Chargers experiment with the backup quarterback position under Anthony Lynn, only to fail each time. Both Geno Smith and Cardale Jones have been nothing spectacular, with the former already on another team and the latter likely to lose his job in the preseason. Do the Chargers finally have themselves a solid, smart, and capable backup quarterback? If his training camp performances thus far translate to the preseason, then the answer is yes.

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