San Diego Roster News and Notes: Chargers Release Just One
As the season approaches, with just over a week until the opener, teams must now make some difficult decisions about players' futures. As the Chargers are stacked most everywhere there were precious few open spots so undrafted free agent linebacker Anthony Felder was the lone soul let go.
Gotta be lonely to be the only guy on the team to be cut. At least the three other undrafted free agents cut on Monday got to do so as a group.
The other roster moves made by the Bolts Tuesday were basic housekeeping. Rookie corner Brandon Hughes was placed in Injured Reserve after he suffered a "significant" knee injury Sunday, making the depth at corner a little iffy. Shame to have made an example of Cletis Gordon now eh?
Another rookie, wide receiver Demetrius Byrd on the Physically Unable to Perform list ending his season, which was expected as he continues to recover from a car accident.
This good news for a number of bubble players vying for active roster spots. Have to get to opening day 53 man roster by 3pm this Saturday. This leaves 22 cuts to made after Friday night's (blacked out) visit from the San Francisco 49ers.
A bunch of the cuts will be mere formalities, such as the back-up punter or spare center, but a number of the decisions will be quite difficult. This will be particularly evident at the running back position.
After LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles it gets a little interesting. Tailbacks Michael Bennett has proven he still has something left, rookie Gartrell Johnson has shown good burst while fullbacks Jacob Hester and Mike Tolbert round out the group.
I know that jettisoning a third-round pick after only a couple years isn't popular but that's what might have to happen in Hester's case. Not fast enough to be a tailback and not big enough to be an effective lead blocker, Hester might be on the outside looking in.
Tolbert is in no way as well-rounded a football player as Hester, but does he need to be? This offense doesn't need a fullback to do anything more than blow up 'backers in the hole and catch the odd check-down pass.
General Manager A.J. Smith may have done it again. With Jacque Cesaire temporarily sidelined with a calf, Ryon Bingham gone torn triceps, and the youngsters not being quite ready Smith made a trade Monday that could be a boon for the defensive line.
Travis Johnson, a 1st round pick by the Houston Texans in 2005, is a big boy at 6'3", 311 lbs. He may have intensity and lingering injury issues but so what, he started 14 games last season and is experienced in a 3-4 front.
Blacked out again? I know it'll be a joke to watch but this is a sign of bigger things. A sign of the times to be sure. I guess I got spoiled in D.C. with the Redskins and Ravens, who don't have this problem.
It's been since 2004 since the Chargers were blacked out in the regular season and it sure looks like it's a trend that will continue. I've got my Week 2 tickets and the Week 4 showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers is on the road warranting live coverage. Now, how to watch the Dolphins game Week 3?
A supposed 7,000 tickets, or 10 percent of Qualcomm's capacity, remain to be sold. At least the 10:30 p.m. replay is on the same night unless you live over 75 miles away in either Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, the Imperial Valley, Hawai'i or Yuma, Ariz. where the game is being shown live.
It's interesting that the only other NFL teams facing regular season blackouts at this point are the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders. The three teams with horrifically outdated stadiums not selling out, go figure.
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