These veteran linemen are playing with a sense of urgency that extends beyond the Chargers' 3-3 record; these men are auditioning for their next contracts.
Right now, no player is helping himself more than Scott. Released during the final roster cut-down in early September, Scott was resigned to his NFL career being over until the Chargers pulled him off the street two weeks ago.
Since Scott reentered the mix, the Chargers have held both of their opponents to less than 4 yards per carry.
DL Ian Scott
Scott and Boone, with 16 years of experience between them, may be extending their careers with this recent resurgence. However, neither player figures to return next season to a Chargers defensive line expecting a major overhaul.
The only contract-year player with the talent to justify a longer stint in San Diego is former first-round pick Travis Johnson. Unfortunately, he hasn't been healthy enough to let the Chargers properly assess how he fits into their defense.
Johnson missed Weeks 2-4 with a groin injury suffered during the season-opener. He returned in Week 6 against the Denver Broncos but re-aggravated the injury last week in Kansas City and will be reevaluated as the week progresses.
Johnson wasn't the only lineman to get dinged in Arrowhead. Ogemdi Nwagbuo, who's started the last five games at nose tackle, injured his ankle early in the contest and did not return. Like Johnson, Nwagbuo is facing a key season in terms of evaluation.
The Chargers must decide if Nwagbuo and rookie Vaughn Martin will be ready to shoulder key roles in the rotation next season. If the youngsters don't prove up to the task, it may open the door for one of the auditioning veterans to get a callback.
San Diego will get two defensive linemen back from injury next season, Jamal Williams and Ryon Bingham, both of whom are currently on injured-reserve with triceps injuries. Williams and Bingham will return to a situation similar to the one described above, as both players' contracts -- along with Cesaire's -- expire after the 2010 season.
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Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.