Camp Battles Nearly Resolved

With two preseason games down and two to go, the Chargers are getting a good feel for who will be in the starting line-up on opening day. A pair of rookies is making a strong push for starting roles, while a second-year player is following suit. On the injury front, two should-be starters are eagerly eying their returns to the gridiron.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK:

  • Malcom Floyd vs. Craig Davis at No. 2 wide receiver -- This remains the top battle of camp, but Davis might have taken the lead. It was Davis, the team's top pick, and not Floyd, starting the second preseason game. While that might not mean anything when the regular-season opener rolls around, it does show the Chargers are giving the rookie every chance to line up opposite Vincent Jackson when the first team trots out. Davis had but two catches for nine yards, but his presence with the first unit was what caught the eye of Chargers observers. Floyd, though, did well when he entered the game and finished with two catches for a team-high 39 yards.
OTHER BATTLE FRONTS:

  • Clinton Hart vs. Eric Weddle at strong safety -- Weddle has been the talk of camp with his athletic skills and wealth of football knowledge –- even though he is a rookie. But Hart has waited for this chance for five NFL seasons and he isn't letting the opportunity slip through his hands. Hart seems a bit more at ease in the secondary and he aided his cause in St. Louis when imitating Willie Mays with an over-the-shoulder interception in the end zone.
  • Drayton Florence vs. Antonio Cromartie for starting CB spot -- Florence seems to be the leader here as he has started both preseason games. But he has also been flagged in both games and seemed to be picked on by the Rams' Marc Bulger the other night. Cromartie needs to take advantage of Florence's mistakes, but to date, the Chargers seem reluctant to insert the second-year pro in a starting role over Florence. That said, Cromartie is getting plenty of field time as the nickel back.
  • Billy Volek vs. Charlie Whitehurst for backup QB job -- The Chargers were hoping Whitehurst would push Volek in the competition. Volek continues to enjoy a fine training camp and has been accurate and poised in both preseason games. Volek completed seven of his 10 passes against the Rams and has a nifty rating of 115.8 after two games. In a limited role, Whitehurst, a second-year pro, completed his only pass for 21 yards. Volek has this battle all but sewn up.
ROOKIE REPORT: Versatile Legedu Naanee continues to impress in practice and seems to be a lock to make the roster. "He certainly has had a good training camp," coach Norv Turner said…Eric Weddle is getting more comfortable in his reads and continues to show the range that drew the Chargers to him…TE Scott Chandler plays the wrong position for this club. That said, he didn't hurt his long-term chances by catching an eight-yard TD pass from Volek in St. Louis…ILB Anthony Waters' camp is being slowed by a sore knee, but it's not the one he tore up last year that derailed his final season at Clemson…ILB Brandon Siler's name isn't being heard much when talking to coaches.

INJURY REPORT: WR Eric Parker (toe) is out eight weeks after surgery…ILB Matt Wilhelm (calf) is probably out two more weeks…RB Tyronne Gross (knee) is likely out a week or more…DT Brandon McKinney (ankle) is day-to-day…ILB Waters (knee) should return this week…ILB Marques Harris (shoulder) could return this week…G Erik Robertson (leg) could return this week.


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