Instant reaction to initial Chargers 53-man roster

Chargers make some surprising decisions with their initial 53-man roster.

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Cut down day has come and gone for the Chargers as they prepare for their third season under Brandon Staley.

There were some surprises going from 90 to 53 players.

It is important to remember that waiver claims will affect the roster, so this is the initial 53-man roster, but things can change if the team feels like there was a player released they must have on their team.

Also, players released that go unclaimed can be added to the practice squad.

Here is instant analysis of the 53-man roster by position:

QB (2) Justin Herbert, Easton Stick

No surprise here.

RB (4) Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, Isaiah Spiller, Elijah Dotson

Elijah Dotson makes the team. He must have impressed the coaches during camp and preseason games.

FB (1) Zander Horvath

No surprise here. Horvath has been a solid special teams contributor.

WR (5) Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer, Quentin Johnston, Derius Davis, 

For the time being they decide to roll with five receivers. They have Jalen Guyton on the PUP, so he will miss the first four games of the season. It will be interesting to see what they do with him once the four weeks are up. Expect Keelan Doss to be a practice squad player if no one claims him.

TE (4) Gerald Everett, Donald Parham, Stone Smartt, Tre’ McKitty

Chargers keep all four tight ends.

OL (9) Rashawn Slater, Zion Johnson, Corey Linsley, Jamaree Salyer, Trey Pipkins, Jordan McFadden, Will Clapp, Foster Sarell, Brenden Jaimes 

Certainly interesting to see the Chargers go with Brenden Jaimes here instead of Zack Bailey. They used Bailey in numerous spots and he has flourished. Jaimes has struggled to make an impact, but he is a former draft pick.

DL (6) Morgan Fox, Austin Johnson, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Nick Williams, Scott Matlock, Christopher Hinton

They could have gone many different ways with the final defensive tackle spot decided on Hinton. He has one-year experience, so it will be interesting to see his role. The team moved on from David Moa, Jerrod Clark, and C.J. Okoye.

OLB (4) Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, Chris Rumph, Tuli Tuipulotu 

No surprise.

LB (5) Kenneth Murray, Eric Kendricks, Daiyan Henley, Amen Ogbongbemiga, Nick Niemann

No surprise. 

CB (5) Asante Samuel Jr., J.C. Jackson, Michael Davis, Ja’Sir Taylor, Deane Leonard

No surprise here.

S (5) Derwin James, Alohi Gilman, J.T. Woods, AJ Finley, Raheem Layne

Two things that jumped out here: one was that undrafted rookie A.J. Finley made the team and former seventh round pick Mark Webb was let go. Webb didn’t play in 2022 and was hurt during camp that made him miss some important time.

ST (3) Cameron Dicker, JK Scott, Josh Harris

Dicker is the kicker while Dustin Hopkins was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a 7th round draft pick.