After a rough final loss against Seattle, the LA Chargers will now have to cut their roster down to 53 by Tuesday. It's not the easiest process with so many deserving players. What complicates it of course is injuries and potential COVID-19 situations this year.
It's also worth noting that while a 53-man roster is final, the Chargers could very well go after players that get cut by other teams or pursue trades. But this is the closest approximation for what I expect the roster to look like on Tuesday:
Final LA Chargers 53-man roster prediction:
Quarterbacks: Justin Herbert, Chase Daniel, Easton Stick (3)
With Justin Herbert locked in as the starter, the competition this training camp and preseason has been between the two guys behind him. Chase Daniel is the veteran the coaching staff is familiar with, particularly Joe Lombardi. Easton Stick was the team's fifth-round selection in 2019 when Philip Rivers was heading into the last year of his contract.
Daniel won Week 1 of the preseason in my opinion while Stick took advantage of a bad Daniel game in Week 2. Daniel dealt with a hand injury after getting sacked in Week 3 while neither quarterback really had the offense moving at all.
However, I've been wondering just how much the preseason means in this "competition" between Stick and Daniel. With the coaching staff having so much experience with the latter and his ability to be more of a mentor to Herbert, it just never quite felt like a competition to me. Over the course of a decade, Daniel has played in nearly 70 games to Stick's one two snap appearance vs. Jacksonville last season.
General manager Tom Telesco seemed to infer on the Chargers' broadcast that the team will keep all three quarterbacks. It's not a final confirmation by any means, but it's how the Chargers have operated the last two years since drafting Stick.
To me, keeping three quarterbacks isn't taking advantage of roster utility. It was different in previous seasons when the Chargers had some ambiguity at the quarterback position with Philip Rivers heading into the last year of his deal.
My philosophy is that they should settle on either Daniel or Stick as QB2. However, I think they'll keep all three as neither backup quarterback enthusiastically won the "competition". Plus, Daniel suffered a hand injury in the Seattle game that could linger.