With the first round of cuts looming, the importance of the third preseason game is of utmost importance. For most teams, the starters will play the first half, and perhaps into the third quarter. Here’s what we have on tap.
Cowboys 17 vs. Seahawks 27
Mark Glowinski started at LG for Seattle, and flat out mauled a d-lineman:
Mark Glowinski takes No. 92 to the ground. Christine Michael patient through the hole, secures ball in traf… https://t.co/kI1t0u9Nrc
— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) August 19, 2016
Patriots at Panthers 7:30pm ET
Daryl Worley looks to have a better game against New England than last week at Tennessee where Marcus Mariota seemed to target the rookie. Although he didn’t allow any big plays, he did allow five catches. Jared Barber is a longshot to make the Panthers’ squad at LB, but is a candidate for the practice squad.
Bills at Redskins 7:30pm ET
Marquis Lucas has struggled in Bills practice against the pass, letting defenders get the the QB. He’s a longshot to make the roster. Terence Garvin looks to step up as a leader in his first year on the Washington’s special teams coverage.
Browns at Buccaneers 8:00pm ET
Look to see how the Bucs use Charles Sims in the passing game out of the backfield. Keith Tandy has been practicing with the second-team defense for Tampa Bay.
Packers at 49ers 10:00pm ET
Don Barclay continues to show his versatility on the offensive line. It now looks as though he will also be the primary backup at center headed into the Regular Season.
Chiefs at Bears 1:00pm ET
We’re anxious to see what Kevin White does in his first extended look as a pro. Bears’ rookie Nick Kwiatkoski has practiced little since injuring a hamstring during the opening weekend of Training Camp. Don’t be surprised if at this point the Bears put him on season-ending IR. The team is loaded at linebacker, and at this point with little practice time, it’s not clear how much he’d be able to contribute this season. By placing him on IR rather than the practice squad, from which another team could grab him, the Bears would be sure he’d be ready for next season. The team used a similar tactic with J.T. Thomas in his rookie season.
For Kansas City, Curtis Feigt played on 32 percent of the plays in their game last week, possibly solidifying a roster spot as a backup o-lineman.
Eagles at Colts 7:00pm ET
After missing the first half of the preseason with a quad injury, Wendell Smallwood will make his debut. And look for him to make up for lost time with a lot of reps.
“They said I’m going to be playing a lot because I need those reps,” Smallwood said. “I need that experience. We’re playing Cleveland [in the season opener] in a couple of weeks, and I need to prepare myself.”
Also in action for Philly will be Najee Goode and rookie long-snapper John DePalma. Pat McAfee will handle the punts for Indy.
Giants at Jets 7:30pm ET
After last week’s preseason game where third-string QB Bryce Petty clearly outplayed Geno Smith, there was some question about who would be the primary backup for Ryan Fitzpatrick. This week, Smith still holds that job. Another shaky performance could lead to his demotion and possibly his roster spot depending upon what they do with rookie QB Christian Hackenberg (who, like Kwiatkoski, is a candidate for IR).
J.T. Thomas came off the PUP list for the Giants this week, and comes in fighting for a roster spot. He came to the team as a free-agent last season by signing a big three-year contract. Will Johnson (stinger) may not play.
Titans at Raiders 8:00pm ET CBS
Karl Joseph, Bruce Irvin, and Quinton Spain on prime-time national television. Is there anything more that needs to be said? Just watch.
Rams at Broncos 9:00pm ET
The progression of Tavon Austin now in his fourth season has the Rams’ believing the WVU speedster can help turn the team’s passing attack completely around.
“He’s developing as a true wide out,” Rams’ receivers coach Al Groh says of Austin. “I believe he’s becoming a threat as a receiver more than just a gadget guy.
“I’m excited about the skills he brings to this offense; he’s a touchdown waiting to happen. I know the headaches he causes defensive coordinators.”
Chargers at Vikings 1:00pm ET FOX
Dreamius Smith showed nice burst for San Diego in late-game duty last week. Shaq Petteway looks to build off a two-tackle performance last week for the Chargers.
Cardinals at Texans 4:00pm ET FOX
Shaq Riddick has been hampered by an oblique injury for Arizona and is questionable to play in this game. Rookie K.J. Dillon will backup at safety and play on special teams for Houston.
Bengals at Jaguars 8:00pm ET NBC
We end the third week of the NFL Preseason with Mario Alford, Will Clarke and Adam Pacman Jones of the Bengals on Sunday Night Football. An ankle injury has kept second-year man Alford from practicing and playing. With other receivers stepping up in his absence, his roster spot may be in jeopardy. He needs to show he can contribute on offense and perhaps break one on a kick return. Clarke’s play this preseason has him in line for more playing time. And like a fine wine, Jones seems to be improving with age on defense.