By Nick Richardson @NickSonofDave on August 13, 2014
With two preseason games already under their belt, the Buffalo Bills are closer than most teams in finalizing their 53-man roster. As they get ready to face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Saturday, these five players are currently fighting for their football lives.
With Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes and Manny Lawson, the Bills have three solid veterans at defensive end already with spots on the roster. That means the remaining spots will be left open to younger players looking to prove themselves, and Smith fits into that category. Smith has received more playing time than any of the Bills’ other young DE’s, so he may be looking at more extended playing time against Pittsburgh as well.
The loss of Kiko Alonso to a season-ending injury opened up a spot on the Bills’ depth chart at LB. Fortunately the Bills still retain a good amount of depth at this position. Powell is looking to crack the team as the sixth and final linebacker. Should he make the team, Powell’s impact will likely come via special teams, so he needs to have a big night in the Bills’ upcoming game.
Even though tight end is one of the weaker positions on Buffalo’s roster, Gragg is still on the fringes of the depth chart. He has been seeing more playing time than might be expected due to several injuries at the position. The player Gragg likely needs to beat out for a roster spot is Tony Moeaki, who has been dealing with his share of injuries. Both players need to produce in the coming weeks if they’re to make the team.
The Bills’ offensive line has been a mess throughout training camp, as both injuries and inconsistency have wreaked havoc on the depth chart. After missing all of the 2013 season, Hairston was expected to be worked back into the rotation, perhaps even in a starting role, but he has seemingly been passed over in favor of rookie Seantrel Henderson at left tackle. Hairston may have to find another position in order to make the roster.
In Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, the Bills have as good a DT combo as there is in the league. At 29 years old, Branch is a veteran presence among the candidates for the backup positions, so it is a bit surprising to find him on the roster bubble. But Branch has seen his playing time steadily reduced over the past few weeks, as younger players like Landon Cohen and Corbin Bryant have been seeing more reps.
October 3, 2015 by Ryan Ratty
The Oakland Raiders will host the Chicago Bears on Sunday in a game that may be must-win for both teams. Here are five players to watch. Read More
October 3, 2015 by Doug Green
The San Francisco 49ers are facing an offensive rebuild soon, and the best way to start would be to trade Vernon Davis while he still has value. Read More
October 3, 2015 by Casey Drottar
Dwayne Bowe will return to the field tomorrow after being a healthy scratch last week, and it's about time he starts earning the money Cleveland gave him this offseason. Read More
October 3, 2015 by Christopher Schwarz
Giants rookie Owa Odighizuwa is likely to make his debut for the Giants this Sunday against the Bills, and could play a huge part in stopping Buffalo's explosive rushing attack. Read More
October 3, 2015 by Brian Kalchik
Here are the top-five one-on-one matchups to watch when the Houston Texans face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4. Read More
October 3, 2015 by Andrew Frosceno
With the official injury reports out, several key players are injured for the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills, which will have a huge impact on how the game plays out. Read More
October 3, 2015 by Derek McVay
Here are five players to watch in this key, early-season matchup between the Bengals and Chiefs. Read More
October 2, 2015 by Brad Berreman
Looking ahead to what remains on the NFL schedule this week, here are five teams that are sure to lose in Week 4. Read More