The Los Angeles Chargers will open the 2019 preseason Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona in a game in which Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said “we are going to get a really good look at our reserves.”
Quarterback Philip Rivers “will be a guy that might be wearing a ball cap,” Lynn said.
“We have four quarterbacks in camp,” Lynn said. “We have three good guys that are competing hard and I want to see all three of those guys play.”
Tyrod Taylor is second at quarterback on the Chargers’ unofficial depth chart, ahead of Cardale Jones and Easton Stick.
The Chargers signed Taylor to a two-year contract March 14 as a free agent, reuniting him with Lynn, who was on Buffalo’s coaching staff as running backs coach, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator from 2015-16 when Taylor was the Bills’ starting quarterback.
Taylor is expected to be playing for the first time since playing three plays and completing his only pass for 11 yards in the Cleveland Browns’ 37-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 4.
Taylor started each of Cleveland’s first three games in 2018, then suffered a concussion and only played one more game as No. 1 overall draft pick Baker Mayfield took over the Browns’ offense.
Jones has not played a regular-season game since being acquired by the Chargers on July 26, 2017 from Buffalo in exchange for a conditional draft choice in a trade that also reunited him with Lynn. He played each of the team’s four preseason games in 2017 and 2018, starting twice.
Stick was chosen in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft after quarterbacking North Dakota State to the 2017 and 2018 championships in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision.
The game will be the first in the Cardinals organization for coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray, the first choice in the 2019 NFL Draft and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner.
“The goal is for him to get out of the game feeling good, whatever that takes,” Kingsbury said. “If it’s three plays, it’ll be three plays, if it is 10 or 12 plays, it’ll be 12. We’ll just figure that out as the game is going.”
Arizona’s three other quarterbacks have also never played a regular-season game with the team.
Former UCLA standout Brett Hundley is second on the depth chart. He signed with the Cardinals in March after spending the 2018 season with the Seattle Seahawks, but did not play a regular-season game with them.
Charles Kanoff signed with Arizona as an undrafted rookie free agent last season out of Princeton, but the Harvard-Westlake School alumnus never played a regular-season game.
Drew Anderson is an undrafted rookie free agent signed out of Murray State.
Kingsbury was fired in November after six seasons as Texas Tech’s coach. His hiring as USC’s offensive coordinator was announced Dec. 5, but he was hired as the Cardinals’ coach on Jan. 11.
Arizona’s roster includes two players who played for the Chargers in 2018 — linebacker Hayes Pullard, a former USC and Crenshaw High standout, and defensive lineman Darius Philon, who played four seasons with the Chargers, starting 19 games, including 13 in 2018.
Chargers receiver Malachi Dupre played one game for the Cardinals in 2018, but did not catch a pass.
Chargers linebacker Kyzir White is a younger brother of Arizona receiver Kevin White.
This is the second consecutive season the Chargers have begun the preseason facing the Cardinals. The Chargers lost, 24-17, at Arizona on Aug. 11, 2018, but were 45-10 winners in a regular-season game Nov. 25 at StubHub Center.