The Los Angeles Chargers are heading into a new era, playing in a new stadium and starting the season without Philip Rivers taking snaps for the first time since 2005. When making big decisions and getting a brand new venue, there is a new level of pressure for the team to perform, especially when they are sharing the stadium with the Los Angeles Rams.
Competing for fans in the LA market, the Chargers will do what they can to win now, giving a short leash to many of their players. With that in mind, these are the three Chargers most in danger of losing their starting jobs.
1. Tyrod Taylor, QB
The current plan is for Tyrod Taylor to start for the Chargers this season, but after drafting Justin Herbert No. 6 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, Taylor could be in a similar situation to Cleveland. That was the 2018 season when the Browns started with Taylor, but later permanently switched to then-rookie Baker Mayfield. If Tyrod isn't doing enough for the team to win games, the Chargers may look to give Herbert some early playing experience.
2. Austin Ekeler, RB
Austin Ekeler was the winner of the Melvin Gordon holdout, which helped Ekeler get paid as well. He enters the season as the starting RB, thriving as a pass-catching back too. While he will have a prominent role no matter what, it's not hard see a scenario where fourth-round rookie Josh Kelley or even third-year back Justin Jackson starts as the early down back, playing a lesser Gordon-like role for this offense on the ground.
3. Andre Patton, WR
While Andre Patton has shown moments of solid play, he has not proven to be a reliable starting receiver at the NFL level. The Chargers need more speed and quickness in the lineup to complement Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and they hit the nail on the head when they drafted Joe Reed in the fifth round. Whether he lines up in the slot or the backfield, Reed can be an electric playmaker on this offense, and it seems likely he will push Patton for his spot.
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