By Nick Richardson @NickSonofDave on August 26, 2014
With the first set of roster cuts already completed and the next round due up next, NFL teams are almost ready to finalize their 53-man rosters for Week 1. Here is what the Buffalo Bills roster will look like for their opener against the Chicago Bears.
E.J. Manuel, Jeff Tuel, Thad Lewis
Despite some poor play, Manuel is still the clear starter. Tuel has outplayed Lewis to grab the backup spot. The Bills signed Jordan Palmer for insurance, though he likely won’t make the team unless Lewis continues to underperform.
RB: Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller, Bryce Brown, Anthony Dixon
FB: Frank Summers
This group should be as deep and talented as any in the NFL. Jackson and Spiller will receive the lion’s share of the touches, with Brown and Dixon likely to be used only as change of pace backs. Summers will see time in short yardage blocking situations.
Sammy Watkins, Mike Williams, Robert Woods, Chris Hogan, Marquise Goodwin, Marcus Easley
The depth chart is a bit up in the air after Watkins. Williams, Woods, Hogan and Goodwin have all seen varying amounts of playing time this preseason and all could see a fair amount of passes thrown their way. Easley will be used almost exclusively on special teams.
Scott Chandler, Lee Smith, Chris Gragg
This may be the weakest position on the roster with Chandler looking quite shaky in the preseason. Tony Moeaki misses the cut due to recurring injuries. Don’t be surprised if Gragg leapfrogs Smith on the depth chart.
LT: Cordy Glenn
LG: Chris Williams, Cyril Richardson
C: Eric Wood, Doug Legursky
RG: Erik Pears, Kraig Urbik
RT: Seantrel Henderson, Cyrus Kouandjio
Injuries have made a mess of the depth chart, but Glenn and Wood are standouts while Henderson has earned a starting spot as a rookie. Fellow draftee Richardson could overtake Williams at LG.
LDE: Jerry Hughes, Jarius Wynn
DT: Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Stefan Charles, Corbin Bryant, Landon Cohen
RDE: Mario Williams, Manny Lawson
Along with the RBs, this is probably the strongest area on the roster. The starters should be dominant and even the backups have looked impressive. It will be interesting to see how coordinator Jim Schwartz’s new scheme deploys these starters.
WLB: Nigel Bradham, Randell Johnson
MLB: Brandon Spikes, Preston Brown
SLB: Keith Rivers, Ty Powell
Bradham is suspended for the season opener, though the Bills are allowed to give him an extra roster spot. After the first game, either Powell or Johnson is likely to be placed on the practice squad. Rookie Brown is likely to start for Bradham in the opener.
CB: Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin, Nickell Robey, Corey Graham, Ron Brooks, Ross Cockrell
FS: Aaron Williams, Duke Williams
SS: Da'Norris Searcy, Jonathan Meeks
Graham will likely split time between CB and S to allow Brooks more playing time. Searcy has locked down the starting spot opposite Aaron Williams. Gilmore, McKelvin and Robey are an excellent CB trio.
K: Dan Carpenter
P: Brian Moorman
LS: Garrison Sanborn
Both backup kickers, Dustin Hopkins and Jake Dombrowski, were already cut, so Carpenter and Moorman retain their spots, though Moorman has not looked good. Carpenter and Sanborn are as consistent as they come at their respective jobs.
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