According to U-T San Diego beat writer Michael Gehlken, “The Chargers left tackle has spent most of the last three months vying for the starting spot on the left side. Now that it’s apparent King Dunlap is the choice there, although not officially declared by coach Mike McCoy, Starks’ roster spot appears firmly in jeopardy as he finds himself in a new competition.”
Starks’ struggles to protect Philip Rivers were evident in practice when pass rushers were all over him as Dunlap sat out with an injury. Starks allowed one of three sacks in four drives during a preseason loss to the Chicago Bears two weeks ago. Second-year defensive end Shea McClellin went untouched as he sacked Rivers and forced a fumble.
The former Steeler made 62 starts at LT from 2008-2012. Dunlap played one season as a starter at LT with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Harris made nine starts at LT last year with San Diego. Starks’ experience was not enough to earn a starting job and might not be enough to earn a roster spot.
Starks has experience at right tackle, so he could backup D.J. Fluker and Harris could backup Dunlap. However, it would not make much sense to pay a backup offensive lineman $2 million.
San Diego’s offensive line allowed 49 sacks last year, which ranked fourth in the NFL, so improving on this was one of the biggest priorities. If Starks does not make San Diego’s 53 man roster, one has to wonder where he would go after that because they had one of the worst offensive lines entering this season.