The Los Angeles Chargers will take on the New Orleans Saints in their second preseason game on Sunday afternoon, and while the regular season is still about three weeks away, NFL rosters are slowly but surely starting to take shape.
The Chargers are a team with Super Bowl aspirations heading into 2019, so every player on that 53-man roster is going to count. That means preseason will be a battle for these guys.
So, here are three Chargers players to watch going into their second exhibition contest.
3. Malachi Dupre, Wide Receiver
While Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are clearly the No. 1 and 2 wide receivers for the Chargers, the rest of the receiving corps is wide open for the taking with Tyrell Williams gone.
Of course, veteran Travis Benjamin may have a slight edge, but he scarcely made an impact in 2018, only logging 12 catches.
That means guys like Malachi Dupre, Artavis Scott, and Andre Patton could be fighting for a significant role in the offense, and in Los Angeles’ first preseason game, Dupre was ahead of the pack, catching two passes for 32 yards.
Obviously, two catches isn’t much to write home about, but it was better than Scott, who caught one pass for three yards, and Patton, who didn’t catch anything.
If Dupre can have another strong performance on Sunday, it could go a long way in helping himself earn some playing time during the regular season.
2. Hunter Henry, Tight End
Hunter Henry obviously isn’t battling for a roster spot or anything, but he is coming off of a torn ACL, so he will certainly be someone to monitor throughout the preseason.
Henry logged his first catch since 2017 last week, finishing with a couple of receptions for 15 yards.
We know what Henry can do when he is he healthy, as he was very productive over his first couple of seasons, so it’s certainly important for him to set the tone for himself in preseason.
He looked just fine in his first exhibition contest, but keep an eye on him on Sunday. He may not play a whole lot of snaps, but it will be interesting to see how comfortable he looks in the time he is actually on the field.
1. Justin Jackson, Running Back
With Melvin Gordon holding out with no end in sight, Austin Ekeler has taken over as the Chargers’ No. 1 running back, and second-year back Justin Jackson has been pressed into duty as the No. 2 guy.
Jackson had an impressive showing in his first preseason game last week, carrying the ball five times for 22 yards and a touchdown. You have to think that Anthony Lynn will get him some more work on Sunday.
The 24-year-old was an absolute monster at Northwestern, rushing for over 1,000 yards in all four of his years at the school and accumulating 41 touchdowns on the ground. In addition, he hauled in 122 receptions over that time, so Jackson also brings some versatility to the table.
He may have been just a seventh-round pick, but the Bolts seem to be putting a lot of faith in Jackson, and with Gordon potentially pulling a Le’Veon Bell, they may have no choice.