If you saw the San Diego Chargers “final” 53-man roster on Saturday, you may want to check it again. There have been a lot of changes.
On Sunday, General Manager Tom Telesco was a busy man, signing, claiming and trading for four players to build depth to their defense and special teams.
The Chargers traded a 2015 conditional seventh-round draft pick to the Dallas Cowboys for defensive tackle Sean Lissemore, who was a seventh-round pick in 2010. Lissenmore, 25, collected 66 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 28 career games, including six starts in 2012. He has experience at both defensive end and nose tackle, giving him the versatility to become a solid rotational player and backup for both positions.
The Bolts also claimed defensive tackle Drake Nevis off waivers. Telesco is familiar with Nevis, having been a part of making him a third-round pick in 2011 with the Indianapolis Colts. In two seasons, Nevis, 24, appeared in 14 games, starting three in 2012, and recorded 35 career tackles and a sack. Nevis also had two sacks in preseason.
Prior to these additions, Jarius Wynn was the only Chargers backup defensive linemen with any experience.
The Chargers also added depth to their linebacking core with players who should become solid contributors on special teams. The Bolts claimed inside linebacker Terrell Manning off waivers. A fifth-round pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2012, Manning, 23, played entirely on special teams in an injury-plagued year in 2012, recording three tackles in five games. Manning will likely see most of his time on special teams again in 2013.
The Chargers also signed linebacker and special teams standout Reggie Walker. Walker, 26, has four NFL seasons under his belt with the Arizona Cardinals, all under Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and special teams coordinator Kevin Spencer. Walker was the Cardinals’ special teams captain in 2012 and has recorded 44 tackles in 48 games. The Chargers’ special teams struggled this preseason, allowing long returns and two blocked punts, making Walker a solid addition.
To make room for these players, the Chargers placed defensive end Damik Scafe on injured reserve and released defensive end Brandon Moore, linebacker D.J. Smith, and kick returner Richard Goodman.