The San Diego Chargers travel to Phoenix for the team’s second preseason game at 10 p.m. ET Saturday versus the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Here’s a couple things to watch for during the game:
Why watch: We should get a longer look at San Diego’s young, improving defense as it builds toward the regular-season opener against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 13.
Players like inside linebackers Donald Butler and Manti Te’o and pass-rusher Melvin Ingram have taken on more ownership of the defense. And like defensive coordinator John Pagano talked about before training camp started, the Chargers are playing fast and physical on the defensive side of the ball.
Rookie outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel also should see some snaps with the first unit.
On offense, will Melvin Gordon play on Saturday against the Cardinals? That'll likely be a game-time decision. After missing practice on Wednesday, Gordon got back on the field on Thursday and indicated he was healthy enough to play this weekend. But head coach Mike McCoy might want to take a more cautious approach by holding Gordon out, with his rookie running back still nursing a minor ankle injury.
D.J. Fluker is expected to get his second start at right guard with Johnnie Troutman out due to a broken arm. Fluker looked improved this week in making the transition inside from right tackle, as the Chargers search for the best starting five up front.
Did you know: Former San Diego running backs Marion Grice and Kerwynn Williams are trying to earn a roster spot this season with Arizona. Grice was a sixth-round draft pick by the Chargers in 2014, but released during final roster cuts, finding a home with the Cardinals. Williams spent 2013 on San Diego’s practice squad, but was cut during the 2014 training camp and signed with Arizona last season.