The LA Chargers kicked off the 2023 preseason on Saturday with a win over the LA Rams. It took Brandon Staley three years but he finally secured a win in a preseason game as a head coach; a distinction that he definitely was not losing sleep over.
There were a lot of great takeaways for the Chargers from the first preseason game of the year. While the outcome does not matter at all, the performances by several players on an individual level do.
There are two sides of every coin, however, and for every great performance there is a player that is hurts. There are only so many roster spots up for grabs and after just one preseason game there are several players already on the chopping block.
3 Chargers already on the chopping block after first preseason game:
1. Dustin Hopkins
This has been well-documented here at Bolt Beat and if you follow our work you are familiar with the situation. The Chargers entered training camp with a kicking battle between veteran Dustin Hopkins and sophomore Cameron Dicker. That battle may already be over.
Dicker was the only one kicking at practice for weeks as Hopkins dealt with a physical issue. Dicker used that opportunity to prove that he is an NFL-caliber kicker and gave Hopkins a massive uphill climb to earn the job.
While Hopkins did return to practice, Dicker was the only one that attempted any kicks on Saturday and he made all four of his tries, including a 50-yard field goal. With Hopkins costing more money, it seems inevitable that the Chargers will go with the cheaper (and perhaps more reliable) option.
Hopkins will be able to land on his feet and find another team in the league that is willing to employ him.