The Buffalo Bills got a head start on cutting down their roster, releasing six players earlier this week. By Saturday all 32 teams must have their rosters reduced to 53 players for the start of the regular season. As teams wrap up the preseason on Thursday night, the fourth and final game will go a long way in finalizing those rosters.
Buffalo concludes the preseason with their annual meeting against the Detroit Lions, here’s our latest three of a kind piece, highlighting three sets of three players in different situations entering tonight.
3 players on the roster bubble to watch:
1) WR Brandon Reilly – The back end of the wide receiver depth chart is still wide open and Reilly is one of several wideouts battling for a spot on Thursday night. McDermot has mentioned Reilly’s name on several occasions as a player he’s been impressed with, so a solid outing against the Lions could potentially seal a spot on the roster. It’s not as if the Bills are deep at the position.
2) T, Seantrel Henderson – With starting left tackle Cordy Glenn nursing some foot pain, Henderson has been given ample opportunities to prove himself worthy of a roster spot. He’s looked shaky at best. An inconsistent preseason combined with the fact that he’ll serve a five-game suspension to start the season puts him squarely on the roster bubble at this point.
3) G, Vlad Ducasse – Ducasse is part of a group of unrestricted free agents Buffalo added this offseason, who, if cut, could help the Bills garner a third-round compensatory pick for losing Stephon Gilmore. They’d have to cut two others of Andre Holmes, Ryan Davis, Patrick DiMarco, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer and Stephen Hauschka as well. Anyway, even though Ducasse remains in an open competition with John Miller for the starting right guard position ahead of Thursday night, a lackluster preseason could leave him missing the cut come Saturday.
3 players who will play Thursday but are probably safe from cuts
1) DE, Ryan Davis – Cutting Davis could also help the Bills gain a compensatory draft pick, however he’s had a solid camp and preseason. Along with second-year man Eddie Yarbrough, Davis provides the Bills with some very nice defensive line depth and cosidering that they don’t have that luxury at many other positions retaining Davis is a real possibility.
2) DT, Adolphus Washington – Releasing Adolphus Wshington seemed like a real possibility back at the start of training camp. The Ohio State product had been arrested for improperly concealing a firearm and he’s merely a backup on this team. Now, after a solid preseason where he was often spelling Marcell Dareus and being found not guilty of his misdemeanor charge, Washington is a safe bet to make the 53-man roster, providing more depth along the defensive line.
3) FB, Mike Tolbert – According to Sean McDermott, Tolbet should see a healthy amount of action against the Lions. Keeping two fullbacks is certainly unconventional in today’s NFL but Tolbert provides the Bills with a bruising short-yardage and goal line back, on top of being a great locker room guy. He could ultimately end up being a surprise cut, but he’s a great fit for McDermott’s new culture and serves a purpose no other backs on the roster really can.
3 players who are likely gone after Thursday
1) S, Colt Anderson – Availability is key for Sean McDermott and throughout most of the preseason Anderson has been unavailable thanks to a nagging foot injury. His path to the roster is on special teams but that may not be enough to save him.
2) TE, Wes Saxton – In a crowded tight end room it’s unlikely Saxton makes this roster. Chrles Clay and Nick O’Leary are locks after strong preseason performances from both. Behind them it seems the Bills are very enamored with 6-foot-6 experiment Logan Thomas. There’s simply no room for Saxton
3) RB, Jordan Johnson – Johnson is a geat story, being that he’s a Buffalo native, but he hasn’t shown enough to warrant a spot on the 53-man roster. Perhaps a breakout performance on Thursday night could save him? Even then it seems Joe Banyard has the inside track for No. 3 running back job. Johnson could easily become a practice squad candidate for the Bills though.
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