Last night, the Los Angeles Chargers opened their preseason in Sofi Stadium against the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. With next to zero starters playing in this game, it was a good chance to look at role players who were being praised during training camp thus far.
One of the position groups that have spots up for grabs is the wide receiver room. With presumably five receivers in Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer, Jalen Guyton, and DeAndre Carter all with spots on the 53-man roster, there are a couple guys that are trying to make names for themselves to earn their spot. Those two guys as of right now are Joe Reed and Michael Bandy.
The two best receivers last night both made incredible flashes against the Rams last night, starting with Reed.
In the first drive of the game, Chase Daniel connected with Reed for a 41-yard touchdown where Reed showed flashes of speed in what turned into a wide-open grab in the endzone.
Reed ended his night with four receptions, 61 yards, and a touchdown on just six targets. He received three kickoff returns for a total of 60 yards, showcasing the ability to make plays on special teams that could keep him on this roster.
Now we move on to Michael Bandy, arguably the best player of the night on both sides of the field. The USD alum hauled in seven of his 11 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown, one of which made you look twice to make sure you weren't watching Keenan Allen burn the defender on a whip route.
How would Michael Bandy, Joe Reed fit with the Chargers?
Both players have made a name for themselves for this preseason so far, and are hoping to be the WR6 on the Chargers. Their roles in the offense could both be necessary to spread out the ball for Justin Herbert. Reed's ability to get open deep downfield can provide an extra deep threat besides Guyton and Williams. Bandy can almost play a Wes Welker/Hunter Renfrow role with his short stature combined with his route running ability.
In the 2021 season, the Chargers only had five wide receivers on their 53-man roster. If Bandy or Reed are to make the roster, we will have to see another position group be trimmed down.
The quarterback room may not necessarily need a third gunslinger. However, the staff and team love having both Easton Stick and Chase Daniel on the roster. Other positional groups, whether its the linebacker group, tight ends, or running backs can be adjusted to fit either Bandy or Reed into the roster come regular season.
The last three games of preseason and training camp are going to be something to keep an eye on. Will one receiver stand out over the other to make the roster? Will the coaching staff find a certain position group to trim down to allow for six (or even seven) receivers on this already high-powered offense?
The Chargers will face off at Sofi again against the Dallas Cowboys on August 20. This will give us another chance to analyze these two receivers and how their development will improve over the month of August.