The LA Chargers are on the road to take on the Denver Broncos in Week 18 with a spot in the AFC playoffs already locked in. This season has been awful for the Broncos, so there is not much at stake in this Week 18 AFC West matchup.
The Chargers needed a win or a Baltimore Ravens loss to secure the fifth seed in the AFC, which would match the Chargers up against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That is far better than having to play the Cincinnati Bengals or Buffalo Bills.
Luckily for the Chargers, the Ravens decided they wanted to focus more on next week and went with their third-string quarterback, Anthony Brown, while also sitting J.K. Dobbins. The Bengals jumped out to a big lead and while it is not official at the time of writing this, it is extremely likely that Baltimore is going to lose.
This makes the Broncos game a meaningless one for the Chargers. And while all signs pointed towards the team resting the starters, the Bolts still made some very strange decisions with their Week 18 inactives.
The Chargers inactives vs Broncos make no sense.
This is a game that likely is not going to mean much and the Chargers know that. Even if certain starters play, it will be a dress rehearsal and they will not play more than a half. You would think that the roster decisions would reflect that.
But they don't. There are several inactives that make absolutely no sense considering the situation.
First of all, the Chargers are running with only four active wide receivers in a game that doesn't matter! Four! So much for getting Keenan Allen and Mike Williams — two guys who have been hurt more than once this season — some rest. Michael Bandy should undoubtedly be active.
It also makes little sense to not have Easton Stick active. Not only is quarterback depth important in a game where you want to protect Justin Herbert but this could be a tryout of sorts for Stick. Stick has never gotten a chance at a non-preseason game and is a free agent after the season. At least give him something to see if he is worth re-signing as a backup.
Isaiah Spiller being inactive is also strange. Common logic tells us that the Chargers should want to avoid overusing Austin Ekeler or Joshua Kelley in this game. The only other running back on the roster is Larry Rountree. Is he going to get 40 carries in this game?
This game doesn't matter. If the team wants to have a series or two for the starters then fine, that makes sense. But they don't even have the proper depth behind key starters to let them rest. Hopefully, it does not come back to bite.