The end is near.
Then football's soft opening ends, and the regular season begins. Finally.
For fans and starters alike, Thursday night's game will be little more than a speed bump to the Chargers' Sept. 13 season opener against the Chiefs.
For others, it doesn't get any bigger than this.
"A lot of people think of this game as the least important game, but for a lot of our guys it's the most important game they'll play this preseason," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "It allows us to see where the young guys have come from since they got here in May. For me, it becomes the most important for our team because we have so many decisions left to make."
Turner said he plans to play the starters for the first 10 to 15 plays. After that, the team begins its final audition for a place on the 53-man roster.
The San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee provided a long list of players the Chargers will be spotlighting: wide receivers Seyi Ajirotutu, Josh Reed and Jeremy Williams; running backs Curtis Brinkley and Shawnbrey McNeal; offensive linemen Brady Bond, Ryan McDonald, Ryan Otterson and Nick Richmond; quarterback Jonathan Crompton; linebacker Kion Wilson; and cornerbacks Nathan Vasher and Brandon Hughes.
"There are some really tight races," Turner said. "To me, it starts with ...how they perform on special teams, and then after that how they perform at their positions.”