The NFL’s last week of exhibition games all take place mostly on Thursday night with final cuts coming on Saturday at 4:00pm. Here’s what to expect.
Redskins at Bucs 8:00pm ET
Keith Tandy has made impressive plays downfield in Bucs’ practice throughout camp, leading to the release of former starter Scooby Wright this week. Charles Sims should see a series or two for Tampa. Washington signed Terence Garvin this past offseason with the plan for him to be a special teams ace. Well, he’s done that and also emerged at a contributor on defense, leading to the release of four-year starter Stephen Riley this week.
Jets at Eagles 7:00pm ET
Wendell Smallwood suffered a concussion during last weekend’s game and is currently going through the NFL’s concussion protocol. So don’t look to see him on the field in uniform. Also, Geno Smith will not play for the Jets. The Eagles cut long-snapper John DePalma on Tuesday. You should see, however, Najee Goode for the Eagles.
Patriots at Giants 7:00pm ET
Will Johnson missed the previous game for the Giants with a stinger. He likely won’t play in this game. Look for him to contribute at tight end upon his return. J.T. Thomas came off the PUP last week for the Giants and tipped a pass in the fourth quarter against the Jets that led to a win for the G-Men. The defense leans on Thomas for his leadership.
Titans at Dolphins 7:00pm ET
Quinton Spain won the starting job at left guard for Tennessee. Look for him to get more reps at the start of the game.
Steelers at Panthers 7:30pm ET
These two teams get together every preseason. In this annual match-up, Carolina will likely hold out many of their defensive starters, but Daryl Worley could see a series or two as the team tries to get him up to speed for the Regular Season. Carolina cut Jared Barber last Saturday.
Bills at Lions 7:30pm ET
Undrafted rookie Marquis Lucas has quietly moved up the depth chart for Buffalo and has been getting reps as a second-string right tackle. His play in this game will be key to making the final 53-man roster.
Colts at Bengals 7:30pm ET
This is Will Clarke’s last chance to push for Regular Season playing time at defensive end for the Bengals. Don’t look for Adam Pacman Jones to play. Cincinnati waived Mario Alford on Tuesday, however there is a chance he may return to the team. You can read details on that here. Pat McAfee will handle punts for Indianapolis.
Bears at Browns 8:00pm ET
Nick Kwiatkoski returned to practice for the Bears this week for the first time since the opening weekend of training camp. He has a lot of catching up to do, and the team would like to evaluate how the fourth-round pick plays before determining his status for the final roster. Don’t worry. He won’t get cut, but could land on the PUP list to start the season. The preseason debut for Kevin White came in with a storm of attention, but on-field he has been more of a whisper. He has just three catches in three games. Don’t read too much into the lack of attention Jay Cutler has shown to White thus far. Head coach John Fox is notorious for not showing any wrinkles on offense during the preseason, almost as much as . . .
Rams at Vikings 8:00pm ET
. . . Jeff Fisher. After signing a big four-year contract extension to remain in L.A., Tavon Austin has been quiet in the preseason. The Rams consider him to be their secret, not-so-secret weapon where the tactics used to get him the ball are plays the team doesn’t want to unveil until the regular season.
Texans at Cowboys 8:00pm ET
Rookie K.J. Dillon showed his physicality and led the Texans in tackles with nine last weekend. Could we see a repeat performance against Dallas?
Packers at Chiefs 8:00pm ET
Don Barclay should make the Packers roster as a backup center and utility player on the offensive line. However, another team in desperate need for line help could trade for him.
Broncos at Cardinals 9:30pm ET
Second-year man Shaq Riddick will be fighting for a roster spot in the preseason finale for Arizona. A hamstring injury pretty much wiped out his rookie season. Thus far, rookie OLB Tristan Okpalaugo has outplayed RIddick and could take his spot on the roster.
Seahawks at Raiders 10:00pm ET
On paper, this would be a great game for WVU fans to watch. You would have Bruce Irvin facing his former team and potentially locking horns with Mark Glowinski with Karl Joseph making hits in the secondary. In reality, that might happen for one series in this game before the backups come in.
49ers at Chargers 10:00pm ET
Undrafted rookie Shaq Petteway played well for San Diego last week getting three tackles, with one for a loss. He made it through the first round of cuts and a repeat or bigger performance may help him earn a roster spot. The Chargers released Dreamius Smith this week.