Projecting Chargers’ offensive depth chart for 2021

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The Chargers are just a little over a week away from their season opener against The Washington Football Team under new head coach Brandon Staley, and with that, the positions are set after finalizing their 53-man roster.

The team has yet to release the official depth chart, so let’s dive into how the offensive side of the ball could shape up heading into the 2021 season, highlighting who is likely to start and serve as depth pieces behind them.

Quarterback

Starter

Backup

Reserve

QB

Justin Herbert

Chase Daniel

Easton Stick

Herbert is QB1 while Daniel will likely be the other active signal-caller on game days. Even though Stick will be inactive, he gives the team flexibility in case of any COVID-19 related emergency.

Running back

Starter

Backup

Reserve

Reserve

RB

Austin Ekeler

Justin Jackson

Larry Rountree

Joshua Kelley

Ekeler will continue do it all out of the backfield, lined up in the slot and out wide. Jackson figures to get the bulk of carries behind him, assuming he stays healthy. Rountree gets the nod over Kelley after outperforming him in the summer. Nonetheless, both will be featured in short-yardage situations for the most.

Fullback

Starter

Gabe Nabers

Nabers is the only fullback on the roster. His primary responsibility will be to serve as an additional blocker and special teams ace, but he could get some targets through the air when short yards are needed.

Wide receiver

Starter

Backup

WR1

Keenan Allen

K.J. Hill

WR2

Mike Williams

Jalen Guyton

WR3

Josh Palmer

The hope is that Williams is fully healthy by next weekend. Palmer sits above Guyton on the depth chart after proving himself as a reliable WR3 this summer, showing the ability to consistent get open and catch everything thrown his way. However, Guyton should still see the field quite a bit due to his speed. Plus, Joe Lombardi rotates his receivers on a consistent basis based on the defensive scheme. Hill will be a primary return specialist.

Tight end

Starter

Backup

Reserve

Reserve

TE

Jared Cook

Donald Parham

Tre’ McKitty

Stephen Anderson

Nothing surprising here. Cook and Parham will be the primary pass-catching tight ends, while McKitty serves as an in-line blocker. Anderson brings receiving and blocking chops, but he was kept on the roster to be a key special teamer.

Offensive line

Starter

Backup

Reserve

LT

Rashawn Slater

Trey Pipkins

LG

Matt Feiler

Brenden Jaimes

C

Corey Linsley

Scott Quessenberry

RG

Oday Aboushi

RT

Bryan Bulaga

Storm Norton

The starting five have been set in stone for awhile, so there aren’t any changes here. Norton will be the primary swing tackle, which means that he will slide in at the left or right tackle should an injury occur to Slater or Bulaga. Pipkins is still developing. Jaimes is the swing guard. Quessenberry is the swing center, with the ability to play any of the guard spots if needed.