The LA Chargers made some interesting decisions with the 53-man roster ahead of the 2022 season and that interesting decision-making continued into the season itself. After defeating the Las Vegas Raiders to move to 1-0 on the season, the Chargers made a move that is not being received well on social media.
Los Angeles is waiving fan-favorite nose tackle Breiden Fehoko in favor of elevating Christian Covington to the active roster. The hope is that the Chargers can bring Fehoko back on the practice squad but all 31 other teams are able to claim him to their active rosters.
Fehoko made the initial 53-man roster over Covington after the preseason but did not play in Week 1 as he was a healthy scratch. The former LSU defensive tackle has been with the team since 2020, primarily spending time on the practice squad.
While waiving the last interior defensive lineman on the roster typically is not a newsworthy move for most fans, this move is the exception. Fehoko has quickly become a fan favorite due to his interactions with fans on social media.
Not only that, but Fehoko has played really well in the chances that he did receive. No defensive lineman in the league had a higher run-stop rate in as many snaps played as Fehoko last season, including Sebastian Joseph-Day, who finished second and signed a big contract with the Chargers this offseason.
Meanwhile, Covington has been far from impressive during his time with the Chargers. The logic here seems to be to get more of a pass-rushing dynamic in the interior with Covington as Fehoko is a run-stuffer on a team that has multiple run-stuffers ahead of him. That being said, I am not even sure if Covington is a better pass-rusher than Fehoko.
It would be shocking if the LA Chargers keep Breiden Fehoko on the practice squad.
Breiden Fehoko is not going to suddenly become this elite starter for another team but there are plenty of football teams in the league who need depth at the defensive tackle position. Whether it be a 3-4 or 4-3 defense, Fehoko would provide that depth.
Maybe the Chargers can get lucky with Fehoko considering they haven't played him enough for other teams to see how good he is. That being said, Fehoko looked really good in the preseason, so there definitely is tape out there for interested teams.
It will be a shame if Fehoko ends up with another team. As promising as this regime is in Los Angeles and despite all the great things they do, there are still some interesting roster decisions from time to time that doesn't make sense in the moment and then end up looking bad in hindsight.
Hopefully, the team gets lucky and this is not one of those moves.