The Chargers (4-7) may have up to four players on their game-day active roster Sunday vs. the Bengals (6-5) who were not active last week. They include OLB Bront Bird, ILB Jonas Mouton, WR Micheal Spurlock and SS Brandon Taylor. Individual roles are still being defined. The majority of their contribution is expected on special teams, although Taylor will likely share reps on defense. 

Spurlock adds depth to special teams and receivers: WR/KR Spurlock was signed off waivers from the Jaguars on Wednesday. He took the spot of RB Curtis Brinkley, who was waived.

Spurlock started the season with the Chargers before he was waived Oct. 3 to make room for CB Chris Carr. Spurlock later signed with Jacksonville, where he remained until being waived Tuesday.

Brinkley had been working as a kick returner after WR/KR Richard Goodman (hamstring) was placed on reserved-injured Oct. 29. But Spurlock may not replace Brinkley as the kick returner. “I don’t think it has anything to do with the return [game],” coach Norv Turner said. “[Spurlock] is a guy that was here who knows what he is doing. He can play in all the special team situations, and he is a guy that can give us a little depth at receiver. If it comes down to it, he could return.”

Spurlock is preparing with an open mind. His role? “Back up everyone at receiver and play special teams,” he said. “Be prepared to do whatever it takes, I’m ready to do it.”

Slot receiver could potentially be the most beneficial role for Spurlock because WR Eddie Royal (hamstring) is expected to be out at least another week. Turner said Spurlock could be used in that role but also said he wasn’t sure if Spurlock would be active this week.  

Taylor to share reps: Chargers fans are probably most excited to see Taylor (third round, 73rd overall). Many believed Taylor would be the starting strong safety this season after he was drafted, but Atari Bigby (free agent, Seahawks) won the job. Turner also retained veteran S Corey Lynch (free agent, Buccaneers) to bolster the special teams and back up Bigby, forcing Taylor onto the game-day inactive list. Taylor is expected to share reps with Lynch this week at strong safety after Bigby (groin) went on the reserved-injured list Tuesday.

Taylor has not been discouraged by his lack of playing. “I know the NFL is a process, and you have to have experience in this league,” Taylor said. “You just have to wait your turn and when you get your opportunity to get out there on the field, you have to take advantage of it and put good plays on film. That will take you a long ways. I knew I had to get better as a player. I came into the league raw as a rookie. I had to grow on a lot of things and I have been working on that approach.”

Taylor thinks he has an advantage playing his first game midseason because he can study game tape of the Bengals receivers, and there is no tape on him. The most important thing for Taylor to have success will be his communication with FS Eric Weddle. “That’s big,” Taylor said. “I do think communication is everything. If you don’t communicate, and one person is in the wrong spot, it can lead to a big play with a blown assignment.”

Mouton not sure of role: ILB Mouton was informed Wednesday that he will also likely be active for the first time in his career this week due to an injury to ILB Donald Butler (groin). Mouton plays on the right side and will back up ILB Takeo Spikes. ILB Demorrio Williams will replace Butler as the starter on the left side. ILB Andrew Gachkar will back up Williams. Mouton is not sure if he will only contribute on special teams or if he will be used in sub-packages in third-down situations.  “I really don’t know,” Mouton said. “I have been working all week.”

Mouton is another player the fans are excited to see. He was highly touted when selected in the second round of the 2011 draft but has yet to see playing time. After an impressive rookie training camp he was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury he suffered in the final preseason game. Mouton looked even better in training camp this year, but he has been to low on the depth chart to crack the game-day active roster. “Hopefully, I will give [the fans] something and they will want to see me some more,” Mouton said.

Bird to work special teams and LB: Any reps Mouton sees on defense could be limited with the addition of ILB Bront Bird, who was re-signed Tuesday to replace Bigby. Bird made his way onto the Chargers roster as an undrafted free agent last season when he played in nine games and had seven tackles on defense and eight on special teams.

“Coach’s focus right now is for me on special teams,” Bird said. “I’m also coming in preparing to play multiple positions at linebacker. With the depth that we have right now, it may be necessary for me to play some, so I will be ready for that as well.”

Bird was released in the final round of cuts this year despite having an outstanding training camp. “It happens,” Bird said. “Life isn’t fair. I thought I played well enough to be on the team, but it is what it is, and I’m happy to be back. It’s good to see all the guys again and be out there playing. You miss the game when you are gone. I’m excited about Sunday.”

A blogger nicknamed him Brontosaurus. “I can’t say that I have never heard that before,” Bird said. “Sometimes, I actually have to introduce it whenever I introduce myself. People misspeak my name, so I have to spell it. Then they look at me like I’m crazy. Then I’m like, ‘I’m the short version of brontosaurus.’ Then I guess it clicks with them.”

Blacked out: Sunday’s game between the Chargers and the Bengals will not be shown live in Southern California per NFL policy. This includes all signals within a 75-mile radius of the stadium and those areas whose television signal reaches within that 75-mile zone. The league’s policy affects all telecasts, including cable and satellite.

Injury report: ILB Butler (groin), TE Dante Rosario (hamstring), WR Royal (hamstring) and S Darrell Stuckey (hamstring) did not participate. OLB Antwan Barnes (hamstring), OLB Larry English (calf), G Tyronne Green (hamstring), OLB Jarret Johnson (back), P Mike Scifres (right ankle), and S Weddle (concussion) were limited.  WR Danario Alexander (thigh), RT Jeromey Clary (thigh), DE Corey Liuget (tibia), fully participated. Johnson was an addition to the injury report. From Wednesday to Thursday, Rosario, was downgraded from limited to did not participate and Scifres was downgraded from fully participated to limited.

What’s next: The Chargers will conduct a morning practice Friday.

Follow Chargers reporter Dan McLellan on Twitter @CBSChargers and @sandiegosports.