COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Even though Melvin Gordon's absence continues to be the most-discussed topic at the Los Angeles Chargers' training camp, Trent Scott's development at offensive tackle is a close second.
The second-year lineman has garnered attention the first two weeks with left tackle Russell Okung out indefinitely due to blood clots. Scott and Sam Tevi are both seeing time at left and right tackle as the Chargers figure out who the best option is to protect Philip Rivers' blindside going into the Sept. 6 opener against Indianapolis.
Pass protection was an issue for the Chargers late last season. Rivers was sacked only 11 times the first eight games — tied for fourth least in the league — but there was a five-game span from Weeks 12 to 16 where he went down 17 times.
The chances of Okung being ready for the opener are slim. He has been mentoring the other offensive linemen during practices as an unofficial assistant coach. Coach Anthony Lynn said last week that a medical evaluation of Okung isn't slated until the end of August.
Enter Scott, who signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent last season and made the roster. He started one game at right tackle and played in eight others.
"Trent is growing like a weed. He's getting better every day," Lynn said. "Unfortunately, you have to go through some things to get better. He's going through some things now."
Scott was mostly at left tackle during a pair of practices against the Rams last week. That could be the case again Thursday when the Chargers open preseason play at Arizona.
Scott mostly lined up at left tackle in college at Grambling. He said he had to get used to rotating between right and left with the Chargers but has learned to adjust.
"The main thing is trying to focus on being consistent at both sides, but it has been going pretty good during camp," he said.
Offensive line coach Pat Meyer said Scott has been able to pick things up quickly, which was one of the reasons he made the roster last season.
"Trent is a neat product because he was a blank slate. He came in and didn't have bad or good habits," Meyer said. "We saw him come in last season and he was a guy who just got it. You taught him and he picked it up quickly."
Scott's main focus during the offseason was working on his technique as well as doing a better job before the snap of reading alignments.
The next couple weeks could provide more clarity on how the Chargers hope to line up going into the season. After the preseason opener, they have a pair of practices against the Saints before their game on Aug. 18. The preference would be to keep Tevi at right tackle, where he started 14 of 15 games.
Third-round pick Trey Pipkins will get plenty of snaps Thursday but he is considered more of a developmental project this season.
"The preseason games will be a great test to see if they can take that from the practice field to the game field," offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said.
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