Nothing demands change more than missing the playoffs and the Chargers have failed to reach the postseason for two consecutive years (2010, 8-8, 2011, 9-7). With 18 new veteran free agent faces in camp, several returning veterans are fighting as hard for a roster spot as the undrafted free agents.

Returning veterans most endangered of not making the final 53 man roster:

C Collin Baxter: Baxter (undrafted, Arizona 2011) was in the Chargers training camp last year, but was cut after the preseason. He went on to make two starts in three games for the Jets before being released. He then returned to San Diego and played in five games with no starts as the back up to C Nick Hardwick. The Chargers drafted C David Molk (round seven, 226th overall pick) who won the 2011 Rimington Trophy for best collegiate center. Molk will likely beat out Baxter to be this season’s backup center.

RB Curtis Brinkley: Brinkley (undrafted, Syracuse 2009) was shot in the chest after he completed offseason workouts in what would have been his rookie season. He returned to the Chargers in 2010 and made the practice squad. Last year he carried the ball 30 times for 101 yards. He also had a TD and 2-point conversion (both receiving) against the Chiefs on Monday Night Football in Week 8. Brinkley is competing against Jackie Battle (free agent, Chiefs) to retain the third RB spot. Battle is a special teams standout and has more experience which could give him the edge over Brinkley.

G-T Brandyn Dombrowski: Dombrowski (undrafted, SDSU 2008) has not yet participated in a training camp practice because a foot cyst has prevented him from taking his physical. Dombrowski played in 15 games last season, but had a very poor performance at LT in Week 10 against the Raiders. He went in for an injured Marcus McNeill (neck stinger) and gave up three of four sacks that OLB Kamerion Wimbley recorded on the night. Dombrowski will likely lose his roster spot to C-G Rex Hadnot (free agent, Cardinals) who is currently taking snaps at the second-string at LG behind Tyronne Green.

K Nick Novak: Novak: Novak (undrafted Redskins, Maryland 2005) came to the Chargers last year after Nate Kaeding tore his ACL in the season’s opening kickoff. He made 27 of 34 attempts. This included a career long of 53-yards and a franchise record of 11 field goals of 40 yards or longer in a season. Kaeding is expected to return as the Chargers’ kicker this year, but both have been extremely accurate in training camp.

TE Kory Sperry: Sperry (undrafted, Colorado State 2009) worked primarily as a blocking TE behind Antonio Gates and Randy McMichael last season when he only had one reception for 32-yards. The Chargers added TEs Dante Rosario (free agent, Denver) and Ladarius Green (Round 4, 110th overall pick). Rosario has received more snaps than Sperry and appears to be a more complete TE.

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