The Chargers have just one game left on their preseason schedule, and it may be the most important for some players. Who will be cut with a poor performance?
With just the San Francisco 49ers to go, the Chargers have almost wrapped up their entire 2019 preseason schedule. It’s been rough to watch at times, but a number of standouts have provided excitement for Chargers fans. Unfortunately, even those standouts are not guaranteed a roster spot, and they may be fighting with players who are shining just as much as they are. It’s a tough time for the players and coaches, and having to tell someone their career with the Chargers (and potentially the NFL) is over must feel awful.
But, it has to happen as the Chargers trim their roster to 53. Here are some players who may be cut if they perform poorly on Thursday:
Chargers cut: Troymaine Pope
A bit of a surprise for those who are fans of Pope thus far. No. 35 has:
- 51 rushing yards on 17 attempts (3.0 average)
- 46 receiving yards on nine receptions (5.1 average)
- No rushing or receiving touchdowns
- Three punt returns (one for a touchdown)
- One kickoff return for 19 yards
Justin Jackson and Austin Ekeler lead him in yards per rush, as well as yards per reception. Neither will be jumped by Pope on the depth chart, so the battle at running back comes down to Pope vs Detrez Newsome. Newsome has been nearly an afterthought as of late, registering no rushing attempts against the Seattle Seahawks. Pope has a clear lead as the third back.
Here’s the problem: If he’s not the rusher or receiver Jackson and Ekeler are, and he doesn’t have the size to convert fourth downs (the other two are struggling as is), and now Desmond King has been confirmed as still being the returner (was out there vs Seahawks) what is the point of holding on to a back who doesn’t even have the size to make a case for keeping him on the roster?
Pope would have to be sensational on Thursday to be considered for the roster; however, if he isn’t, it’s not like Newsome would immediately take his spot as the third back. The Chargers cannot be happy with their short yardage conversion failures, and should look to add another bigger back if Melvin Gordon will not return to the team. Pope needs to convince the team he can bring some power to the offense, or some incredible knack for receiving, because his low numbers thus are aren’t convincing just yet.