Trey Pipkins seemed destined for unemployment line, not Chargers’ offensive line

Chargers offensive lineman Trey Pipkins stretches before a preseason game.
Chargers offensive lineman Trey Pipkins.
(John McCoy / Getty Images)

The series of roster moves the Chargers made Tuesday did not include anything involving Trey Pipkins, the still-developing tackle who struggled mightily during the preseason.

Coach Brandon Staley said the team continues to believe in Pipkins and explained that Pipkins has earned additional time.

“There are still aspects of his game that certainly need improvement,” Staley said. “But we felt like he’s been invested in trying to improve. … We just felt like, for now, he’s a player that we can still hang with. We feel like he’s earned that with us, with how he’s invested in his game.”


Pipkins was a surprise draft pick in 2019 when the Chargers took him in the third round out of Sioux Falls.

He started five games at right tackle last year and three at left tackle as a rookie. Pipkins has appeared in 26 games.

His problems were glaring this preseason, particularly in the Chargers’ final two games. They gave him ample opportunity to gain experience, Pipkins playing all 119 offensive snaps the last two weeks.

The Chargers released Michael Badgley, making Tristan Vizcaino the team’s new placekicker. See the Chargers’ 53-man roster after cutdown day.

Aug. 31, 2021

“Although he’s had some tough moments that a lot of people have seen, there’s been other moments where we feel like, ‘Hey, there’s still more in there that we can tap into,’ ” Staley said. “We’re just going to hang tough with him. He certainly has to improve.”

Staley did indicate that Storm Norton would be the first tackle in the game if the Chargers need someone to replace either of their starters, Bryan Bulaga or Rashawn Slater.