Short-handed on defense, Chargers still waive former first-round pick Jerry Tillery

Chargers defensive lineman Jerry Tillery (99) warms up before a game this season.
Chargers defensive tackle Jerry Tillery (99) never lived up to expectations after being drafted in the first round of the 2019 draft.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The Chargers on Thursday waived defensive lineman Jerry Tillery, a first-round pick in 2019.

Tillery had missed practice the last two days for what the team termed a “personal” reason.

“This was not an easy decision but, after careful consideration, it was a necessary one that is in the best interest of both team and player,” general manager Tom Telesco said in a statement. “We wish Jerry all the best moving forward in his career.”


The Chargers selected Tillery with the 28th overall pick out of Notre Dame. His career started slowly but he eventually emerged as a 15-game starter in 2021, finishing with 4½ sacks and 51 tackles.

The Times’ Sam Farmer analyzes each matchup and predicts the winners in NFL Week 10. The Rams and Chargers will fall while the Eagles will improve to 9-0.

Nov. 10, 2022

But Tillery’s playing time shrunk in 2022 after the Chargers rebuilt their defense in the offseason. He had eight tackles in seven games this season.

The Chargers made the move despite also losing starting defensive lineman Austin Johnson for the season this week. Johnson suffered a knee injury Sunday against Atlanta.