Donald Brown a projected cut for the Chargers

Here is a position-by-position look at who stays, who goes when the San Diego Chargers make their final cuts.

The Chargers still have a few players nursing injuries who will not be available when the team begins the regular season Sept. 13 against the Detroit Lions. Guard Johnnie Troutman isn’t expected back from a broken right forearm until Week 3. And outside linebacker Tourek Williams might be out until midway through the year with a broken foot.

Veteran tight end Antonio Gates likely will begin the regular season on the NFL’s suspended list while serving his four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. That means Gates will not count as part of San Diego’s 53-man roster to start the regular season.

Quarterbacks (2): Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens

The Chargers kept only two quarterbacks last season, and the expectation is that will happen again. Brad Sorensen has shown improvement and is a practice-squad candidate.

Running backs (4): Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver, Dreamius Smith.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco indicated the team would like to keep Donald Brown around as the team’s fourth running back, but he played only four snaps on offense in the team’s dress rehearsal against the Seattle Seahawks last week. The Chargers could save $3 million in cash by releasing Brown. Smith played well in the preseason and would give San Diego an inexpensive option to Brown for depth at running back. Brown could also command trade interest for teams looking for experienced depth at running back like the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns.

Wide receivers (5): Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Stevie Johnson, Jacoby Jones, Dontrelle Inman.

It will be hard to let go of talented players such as Javontee Herndon, Austin Pettis and Tyrell Williams, but hopefully the Chargers can get someone like Herndon back on the practice squad.

Tight ends (4): Ladarius Green, John Phillips, David Johnson , Kyle Miller.

Miller makes it here to add depth to the tight end group with Gates missing the first four games. The Chargers want to run more two tight-end sets this year.

Tackles: (4): King Dunlap, D.J. Fluker, Joe Barksdale, Chris Hairston

Undrafted rookie free agent Tyreek Burwell has potential and should wind up on the practice squad if he clears waivers.

Guards (3): Orlando Franklin, Johnnie Troutman, Jeremiah Sirles

Kenny Wiggins had a good training camp and could make the roster for added depth, particularly with Troutman potentially missing the first two weeks.

Centers (2): Chris Watt, Trevor Robinson

The Chargers like the versatility of these two players, who can both play guard. Michael Huey also had a strong camp and is a practice-squad candidate.

Defensive tackles (3): Sean Lissemore, Ryan Carrethers, Mitch Unrein

Damion Square made some plays during training camp and warrants a look as a guy who could add depth on the active roster.

Defensive ends (4): Corey Liuget, Kendall Reyes, Darius Philon, Ricardo Mathews

This group has more depth and guys who can push the pocket from the interior line than in years past.

Outside linebackers (5): Melvin Ingram, Jeremiah Attaochu, Tourek Williams, Kyle Emanuel, Cordarro Law

Colton Underwood flashed during exhibition play and is a practice-squad candidate. The Chargers need an extra body with Williams injured.

Inside linebackers (5): Donald Butler, Manti Te'o, Denzel Perryman, Kavell Conner, Nick Dzubnar

Not sure how you keep Dzubnar off the active roster with the way he’s played. The competition at this position helped improve the play of Butler and Te'o.

Cornerbacks (5): Brandon Flowers, Jason Verrett, Patrick Robinson, Steve Williams, Craig Mager.

Too bad guys such as Chris Davis and Greg Ducre suffered injuries; they were playing well early in camp. Richard Crawford deserves consideration for the active roster.

Safeties (4): Eric Weddle, Jimmy Wilson, Jahleel Addae, Darrell Stuckey

The Chargers have pretty good depth in the secondary and Adrian Phillips is another guy who can play. Perhaps Phillips lands on the practice squad.

Specialists (3): Nick Novak, Mike Scifres, Mike Windt

Josh Lambo did enough to get a job audition for another team or return if Novak suffers an injury.