Early Monday afternoon, coach Brandon Staley mentioned the Chargers had been “getting closer” to creating a choice on a beginning proper sort out.
A short while later, Trey Pipkins III took all of the first-team follow reps.
Pipkins and Storm Norton had been splitting snaps equally all through coaching camp and the primary two preseason video games.
Getting into his fourth 12 months, Pipkins has been thought-about the doubtless front-runner all through the summer season. The Chargers aren’t obligated to announce any of their starters earlier than their Sept. 11 season opener in opposition to Las Vegas.
“It’s been great for both guys to compete and to come to practice every day with a real healthy competition,” Staley mentioned earlier than the Chargers’ exercise. “There’s a healthy respect for one another.
“I think there’s the respect that they know that we have for them, too, that we didn’t have to go outside of our team to address our right tackle because we think that both of those guys are quality players.”
The Chargers signed 12 free brokers to contracts price as much as $151 million complete in rebuilding their roster. Additionally they traded for edge rusher Khalil Mack and drafted Zion Johnson to be their starter at proper guard.
The one place they didn’t contact was proper sort out, the place Norton began 15 video games final season following Bryan Bulaga’s season-ending damage.
Norton is coming into his third 12 months with the Chargers after becoming a member of the group as a free agent in 2020. Earlier than that, he most just lately had performed within the XFL.
Pipkins was a third-round choose in 2019 out of Sioux Falls, the Chargers drafting him as a longer-term venture. He has began 10 video games, together with two in 2021, over his three NFL seasons.
Staley mentioned since each gamers are at “similar junctures” of their careers, he believed the Chargers may make a extra exact analysis of how the 2 evaluate.
“I think with these two guys, we’re going to be able to make an accurate decision,” he mentioned. “Then we’re going to be able to know that that person earned it. All we want is that person to be able to go out there and play to his full potential, get with the other four guys that he’s going to be with and really establish that strong chemistry …
“Whoever wins the starting job is going to be our starter. There’s not going to be like any rotation or anything like that. Whoever wins this race is going to be the guy out there. I want to make sure that everyone knows that.”
Pipkins began the preseason opener and Norton began the second recreation. Each performed 20 snaps Saturday in opposition to Dallas.
J.C. Jackson injured
Cornerback J.C. Jackson was not on the follow area Monday due to an undisclosed damage.
Since Staley was made out there to the media earlier than the exercise, he was not requested about Jackson. The Chargers declined to supply any extra particulars afterward.
Jackson was the group’s No. 1 free-agent addition, agreeing to a five-year contract price as much as $82.5 million, $40 million of which is assured.
Undrafted popping out of Maryland in 2018, he spent his first 4 seasons with New England, incomes his first Professional Bowl journey final season. Jackson’s 25 interceptions since he entered the league lead the NFL.
Joshua Palmer coping with concussion
Joshua Palmer is in concussion protocol after being damage in opposition to the Cowboys, Staley mentioned.
Heading into his second season, Palmer has established himself this summer season because the Chargers’ No. 3 broad receiver. He had three catches for 75 yards and a landing Saturday.
Rookie operating again Isaiah Spiller suffered an ankle damage in opposition to Dallas and is “kind of week-to-week,” Staley mentioned. Staley added that there’s an opportunity Spiller gained’t be prepared for the beginning of the common season.
Spiller has been competing with Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree III to be the first backup to Austin Ekeler.
Kenneth Murray Jr. activated
Inside linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. was activated off the bodily unable to carry out checklist and practiced for the primary time since final season. He had ankle surgical procedure in April.
Staley mentioned he believes Murray may nonetheless begin the season on time.
“I think he can be ready for Week 1,” Staley mentioned, “but to what extent and how much? I think that remains to be seen. But we’re really excited. I know he’s worked really hard to get back.”
Murray had 17 tackles over the primary two video games in 2021 however solely 14 extra the remainder of the season as he missed vital time due to damage.
His return opens the potential of the Chargers enjoying Kyle Van Noy at each linebacker and edge rusher, one thing he has finished prior to now. In Murray’s absence, Van Noy has been enjoying solely inside.
And many others.
Staley mentioned safeties Alohi Gilman (undisclosed) and Mark Webb Jr. (calf) and cornerback Deane Leonard (hamstring) are unlikely to play Friday within the Chargers’ preseason finale at New Orleans.
Tight finish Donald Parham Jr. (hamstring), edge rusher Ty Shelby (leg) and cornerback Tevaughn Campbell (knee) additionally stay out.