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2022 NFL Preseason, Week 2: A very important factor to view for from all 32 teams

On Tuesday this week, NFL rosters were reduced from 90 to 85 players. By next Tuesday, rosters should be right down to 80 players.

That’s what’s on the line as we go to Week 2 of the preseason: Many jobs are at risk, and for a few, this week’s games will undoubtedly be their last possiblity to prove themselves with their current teams.

Listed below are 32 applying for grants what to watch out for with this particular week’s preseason slate.

*NFL+ subscribers can observe live out-of-market NFL preseason games across devices. Blackout restrictions apply.

New England Patriots
  • 7 p.m. ET(NFL Network, NFL+*)
  • Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)

Its possible we shall know who the Panthers starting QB for Week 1 will undoubtedly be following this game. Head coach Matt Rhule said earlier this month that hed not name a starter until following this game contrary to the Patriots, and even though Rhule said Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold both played well the other day contrary to the Commanders, the overwhelming sense is that Mayfield may be the big favorite. … The Patriots offensive struggles have already been well-documented up to now, so lets highlight a new player who has already established a good camp on the far side of the ball. LB Mack Wilson was a bright spot in the Patriots preseason opener contrary to the Giants. He said this offseason that hes blessed to possess another chance in New England after being traded by the Browns for DE Chase Winovich. We expect a dynamic Wilson in that one, assuming the Patriots play their presumed starters on defense.

Green Bay Packers
  • 8 p.m. ET (NFL+*)
  • Lambeau Field (Green Bay, Wis.)

Could we see Michael Thomas doing his thing for the very first time in a casino game setting in about 20 months? Its likely. Even though Thomas receives nominal action in Green Bay on Friday, it may be fun watching his live reps, particularly if theyre against Packers cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes. Thomas and Saints CB Paulson Adebo reportedly experienced some battles in camp, but increasing against another teams DBs — after two days of joint practices — could reveal a whole lot about where Thomas stands heading into his seventh NFL season. … Aaron Rodgers may possibly also play this week. But we would see a many more of Jordan Love in this game, coming off a three-pick performance contrary to the 49ers the other day. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur basically absolved Love of blame on two of these — and on section of the third pick. But Love might use another strong outing here. Why? Well, he only has three career preseason starts and something regular season begin to his name, and Green Bay must decide next spring whether to get his fifth-year option. Hes a potential trade candidate, too, if the Packers have confidence in Rodgers having multiple years left. If Love plays well in the preseason, it might enhance his trade value — something the team must at the very least consider.

Los Angeles Rams
  • 10 p.m. ET (NFL Network, NFL+*)
  • SoFi Stadium (LA)

The Texans could possibly be leaning on plenty of young players this year. Person who shined in the preseason opener was fourth-round running back Dameon Pierce. He ran for 49 yards on five carries, including 20 yards on his first touch the other day versus the Saints. Pierce also made a tackle following an interception, picking himself off the turf and running nearly 40 yards to help make the play; that wont go unnoticed. He’s got an excellent possiblity to earn a starting role at some time as a rookie, maybe even immediately. The Rams’ defense didnt allow any Chargers RB to perform for a lot more than 6 yards on the 18 carries the other day. A large game by Pierce here, and the fantasy football individuals are likely to start licking their chops. … Rams RBs Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson are nursing soft-tissue injuries, coach Sean McVay said this week. So its likely that we get yourself a dose of Funk this week — Jake Funk, that’s. The 2021 seventh-round back was quiet in the preseason opener, with six carries for 16 yards and a 10-yard grab, however the Rams may actually like him. Another back the mix is rookie Kyren Williams, who came off the physically struggling to perform list the other day. Its unclear if hell have the ability to play on Friday, though.

Indianapolis Colts
  • 1 p.m. ET (NFL+*)
  • Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)

Another joint-practice matchup here, as both teams spent the week in Indiana working together. All the Colts offensive starters (minus Jonathan Taylor) saw reps the other day. New QB Matt Ryan made some nice throws, but he finished 6-of-10 passing due to a few mistakes by Indianapolis receivers. Its a large week for the Colts’ wideouts not named Michael Pittman Jr. We realize Pittman can perform it, but can other people step up? The very best candidates include Parris Campbell, rookie Alec Pierce, camp standout Ashton Dulin and Keke Coutee. … Aidan Hutchinson had an excellent preseason debut & most certainly looks the part for the Lions up to now. He may have a good rookie-on-rookie matchup against Colts OT Bernhard Raimann, who didnt start at left tackle (Matt Pryor did — and struggled) but led the team in snaps the other day versus the Bills, playing 48 of a possible 73 snaps. Raimann has already established an up-and-down camp and needs all of the reps he is able to get, but a solid showing here may help improve his shot to start out as a rookie.

Buffalo Bills
  • 1 p.m. ET (NFL Network, NFL+*)
  • Highmark Stadium (Buffalo, N.Y.)

In last weeks preseason opener, the Broncos sat almost all of these expected regular-season starters. It may be another story this week. Might we see Russell Wilsons first game in orange and blue? Its likely he gets a string or two. However the focus may need to be on the offensive line and running backs. With backup linemen, the run game produced 39 yards on 22 carries versus Dallas — and prompted some harsh postgame comments from new head coach Nathaniel Hackett: That run game had not been sufficient. It’s that easy. I’m unhappy with that. … The Bills dont have lots of major positional battles, but theres one happening at punter. And boy, did rookie Matt Araiza surpass his reputation in the first preseason game. The person nicknamed Punt God cheated an 82-yarder, netting 62 after it rolled in to the end zone the other day. Our only regret is that game is in Buffalo, not Denver at altitude. If Araiza can kick a ball 80-plus near sea level, imagine what he could do another mile (roughly) higher?

Kansas City Chiefs
  • 4 p.m. ET (NFL Network, NFL+*)
  • GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.)

Will there be an RB1 competition in Washington? Ron Rivera certainly isnt downplaying the theory. Almost always there is been a competition for positions with this team, Rivera said this week when asked concerning the situation. It seems Antonio Gibson and rookie Brian Robinson are receiving nearly equal chances used and Robinson starred while Gibson fumbled in last weeks game versus Carolina. If Robinson outshines Gibson again in that one, there could be some real smoke compared to that fire. … The Chiefs opening drive contrary to the Bears the other day gave us a snapshot of what Kansas Citys offense might appear to be this year: more multiple and much more contributors. Last season, nearly 45% of Patrick Mahomes passes visited either Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce; obviously, that may change this year with Hill gone. In the 11-play TD drive at Chicago, seven Chiefs touched the ball — and that doesnt include JuJu Smith-Schuster, the assumed WR1. Running back Isiah Pacheco — wearing Hills old No. 10 — got an early on touch and had a 34-yard kickoff return. He’s got been a star in camp. Actually, Pacheco gets reps before free-agent signee Ronald Jones and may maintain line for steady regular-season touches.

Tennessee Titans
  • 7 p.m. ET (NFL Network, NFL+*)
  • Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)

It’s Tom Brady‘s team versus Mike Vrabel, whose Titans knocked Brady’s Patriots from the playoffs in his final game with New England. Its Julio Jones versus the team that cut him this offseason. Its the Aaron Stinnie Revenge Game, for crying aloud. But its also the preseason, so our expectations should be tamped a little. Instead, lets highlight the battle of non-first-round backup QBs looking for some confidence-boosting reps. Kyle Trask turned in an excellent performance in the Bucs loss the other day, sufficient reason for Brady out indefinitely, there must be plenty more opportunities versus Tennessee. Head coach Todd Bowles said he wished to see if Trask would show moxie and whether hed panic, but Bowles said Trask passed lots of those tests, so hell have more” contrary to the Titans. Malik Willis Titans debut wasnt quite as seamless, as he was benched after 11 passes because Vrabel said the rookie QB didnt throw the ball enough. Well venture to reckon that number rises contrary to the Bucs’ secondary.

Minnesota Vikings
  • 7 p.m. ET (NFL+*)
  • U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis)

The 49ers aren’t likely to play Minnesota native Trey Lance contrary to the Vikings, per head coach Kyle Shanahan (who was simply also born in Minnesota, joking this week he lived there about 14 days prior to the family moved). At this time, the largest concern for SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA may be health in the secondary. Safety Jimmie Ward includes a hamstring injury which could sideline him in Week 1; CB Emmanuel Moseley also offers battled a hamstring injury, and CB Charvarius Ward (groin) might miss this weeks game. Young DBs must intensify at an area where depth appears quite thin right now. … Will Kirk Cousins play? He was out the other day with COVID-19 but returned to apply this week. Remember, it is a new offense for everybody, so he could reap the benefits of live reps pitched against a good defense. At some time, Kellen Mond comes into play at QB, likely with to be able to win the backup job. Following a shaky camp, Mond delivered a much-needed good performance in the preseason opener. Another strong outing could put some distance between him and Sean Mannion, who struggled contrary to the Raiders the other day.

Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 7 p.m. ET (NFL+*)
  • TIAA Bank Field (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky remains the favourite to start out for Pittsburgh in Week 1, but all three candidates for the work (including rookie Kenny Pickett) played well the other day. So weren’t at ready to call that one yet. Its apples to kumquats, but lets look back at the Mac JonesCam Newton QB battle in New England last summer. It wasnt until late August, following joint practices with the Giants, that Jones pulled before Newton fully for the reason that race. Were still weekly away on the calendar from the similar point in the Steelers battle. If Pickett lights up the Jaguars (and, lets say, Trubisky struggles), this debate could change quickly. … But theres another Steelers offensive storyline you might like to focus on. WR George Pickens has been opening eyes all summer in camp, and he kept it moving in the overall game versus the Seahawks, snagging Trubiskys first pass of the overall game and later catching a TD from Mason Rudolph. Just how do the Steelers draft wide receivers at, like, an 89% success rate? Its uncanny. Well be watching Pickens against Jacksonville, particularly if hes harmonized along with his former Georgia teammate, Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell, who has rendered receivers Chick-fil-A on Sunday (translation: not open) through a lot of camp.

Miami Dolphins
  • 7 p.m. ET (NFL+*)
  • Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

It is a battle of new, offensive-minded head coaches Josh McDaniels and Mike McDaniel. We may also reach see both teams starting quarterbacks, Derek Carr and Tua Tagovailoa, after every have sat out the preseason up to now. Carr seems energized in the brand new offense, even though Raiders OL issues might keep his night short should they want him healthy for Week 1. Tagovailoa has quieted a few of his ubiquitous critics with some steady practices to the stage where McDaniel didnt wish to play his full group of starters the other day. Perhaps Tua and noted Raiders tormenter Tyreek Hill reach least one possiblity to connect on a deep throw in this game. But well also be monitoring using Dolphins wide receivers Lynn Bowden and Preston Williams, both of whom have reportedly been floated in trade talks. Bowden, who was simply drafted by the Raiders in 2020, either helped his case to earn an area on the roster or be moved elsewhere versus the Buccaneers the other day with two catches of 20-plus yards — including a TD grab — an 18-yard punt return and a 26-yard kickoff return in limited snaps.

Los Angeles Chargers
  • 10 p.m. ET (NFL Network, NFL+*)
  • SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, Calif.)

Dallas had a lot more penalties (17) in the preseason opener versus Denver than it did points (seven). Both areas need clearing up, clearly, especially following the Cowboys drew more flags than any team a season ago. However the big issue on offense may be at receiver. With Amari Cooper and Ced Wilson gone, Michael Gallup likely to miss at the very least Week 1 and James Washington (broken foot) out indefinitely, wideouts not named CeeDee Lamb, who’s currently coping with a cut on his foot, must intensify. Third-rounder Jalen Tolbert has looked good up to now, and undrafted Dennis Houston has received first-team reps in camp. Noah Brown is another option, but hes in Year 6 and hasnt had greater than a 16-catch season in his first five. The sleeper may be 2021 fifth-rounder Simi Fehoko, who has seriously and could be considered a red-zone weapon. … Justin Herbert hasn’t taken a preseason snap. We dont believe he’ll in that one either. We also may not see what may be the best rush duo in the NFL this year with Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. But another rusher, Chris Rumph II, had a sack, multiple pressures plus some good run stops the other day versus the Rams. If Rumph keeps this up, the Chargers may have the very best rush trio in the league. Hell turn to find gaps in a Dallas offensive line that has been guilty of seven of these penalties the other day.

Cleveland Browns
  • 1 p.m. ET (NFL Network, NFL+*)
  • FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)

Following news Thursday that Deshaun Watson has been suspended for the first 11 games of the standard season, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters Watson — whose suspension begins on Aug. 30 — won’t play again this preseason. Stefanski had previously said that presumptive Week 1 starter Jacoby Brissett wouldn’t normally play against Philadelphia. It seems another QBs on the roster (Joshua Dobbs and Josh Rosen) come in for a protracted try this game after Watson played nine snaps in the preseason opener. The location on the depth chart behind Brissett has had on added importance, aswell. … For the Eagles, Ill be eyeing former first-round OT Andre Dillard, who just returned to apply from the concussion — and promptly experienced several practice scuffles with teammates. Dillard is really a potential trade candidate who just so happens to play behind Jordan Mailata, among the best young tackles in the league. Do the Eagles showcase Dillard in the preseason for a possible trade? His usage here might reveal much.

New York Giants
  • 7 p.m. ET (NFL Network, NFL+*)
  • MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)

Bengals QB Joe Burrow has returned to apply following his appendectomy, giving the Queen City some much-needed relief. Burrow has said he doesn’t anticipate playing in the preseason, and the concussion suffered by backup Brandon Allen in last weeks preseason opener may lead to an extremely shallow QB pool for Cincinnati. The only real other quarterbacks on the roster are Jake Browning and Drew Plitt, both of whom performed moderately well the other day versus Arizona. Plitt completed all six of his pass attempts. … The Giants QB situation is vastly different. They will have healthy bodies but far bigger questions. New head coach Brian Daboll now says he could need to get Tyrod Taylor some first-team reps. Hmm. When I suggested a couple weeks back that Daniel Jones starting gig is probably not ironclad, there is some blowback from readers — understandable. Yet, here we have been heading in to the second preseason game, and Daboll appears to be altering the course slightly bit. How Jones and Taylor fare, even against a less-than-complete Bengals defense, might offer us a lot more perspective on the Giants future plans.

Arizona Cardinals
  • 8 p.m. ET (FOX, NFL+*)
  • State Farm Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.)

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray isnt playing on Sunday and he will not be taking any snaps in Arizona’s preseason finale in a few days at Tennessee, either. That likely means more doses of Trace McSorley and Jarrett Guarantano versus Baltimore. But will Murray call plays again in that one, after Kliff Kingsbury gave him the wheel in last weeks fourth quarter? It doesnt appear so, sadly. I enjoyed it, but as soon as you call the play, it’s from the control, Murray said this week. … The Ravens have suddenly been hit by injuries at wide receiver. Rashod Bateman, James Proche and Devin Duvernay — arguably the teams best three wideouts — didn’t play in last week’s preseason opener against Tennessee. Tylan Wallace and two longer shots to help make the team, undrafted Slade Bolden and USFL vet Bailey Gaither, all got hurt the other day, putting the Ravens in a hardcore spot at receiver versus the Titans. Yet UDFAs Shemar Bridges, Makai Polk, Raleigh Webb, Binjimen Victor and Jaylon Moore all made plays the other day, which was an excellent sign. Maybe a couple of could land on the opening 53-man roster if the Ravens dont take action for a veteran wideout. This game could possibly be crucial for sorting out that position.

New York Jets
  • 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, NFL+*)
  • MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)

Joe Flacco suddenly has been thrust in to the spotlight once again. With Zach Wilsons knee injury clouding his availability for Week 1, theres a non-zero chance Flacco will undoubtedly be starting for the very first time against his former Ravens mates in the standard season opener. But first, theres this game, where Flacco could receive work after sitting out the preseason opener. A prime-time game against Atlanta could possibly be our first possiblity to see Flacco and the Jets new, shiny offensive toys take the field — for a string or two, anyway. … The Falcons have a lot of questions, but running back is probably not one of these. Along with do-it-all starter Cordarrelle Patterson, theres veteran Damien Williams, rookie Tyler Allgeier and Qadree Ollison, who stood out in the preseason opener at Detroit with five carries for 33 yards. Allgeier was better still per touch, averaging 8.3 yards per carry. Head coach Arthur Smith continues to state that Allgeier continues to be learning the offense, but one play contrary to the Lions displayed some maturity and impact. Allgeier didnt touch the ball on Desmond Ridders game-winning TD pass to converted lacrosse star Jared Bernhardt, however the rookie back stepped up and found a blitz, allowing Ridder to help make the completion. More of this kind of play contrary to the Jets, and Allgeier could earn a reliable role this year eventually.

Seattle Seahawks
  • 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, NFL+*)
  • Lumen Field (Seattle)

The Seahawks quarterback battle appeared as if it may be shifting — until that tide quickly swept back. Geno Smith started last weeks preseason opener after receiving the majority of the first-team reps in camp and was along in the initial half. Lock got the next half, using backups against backups, and fared better overall — despite having a late fumble. That propelled Lock into first-team reps on Tuesday and he was set to start out versus Chicago. Until, that’s, the team announced Lock tested positive for COVID-19 and wouldn’t normally play in the overall game. Does an excellent performance here virtually guarantee Week 1 starting duties for Smith? Dont your investment opponent for the reason that one: Russell Wilson and the Broncos. … Bears QB Justin Fields had several nice moments in the preseason opener, including an eye-opening completion to Tajae Sharpe where Fields changed the protection and fired a ball only Sharpe could snag. But Fields was hit multiple times (including on the Sharpe catch) and sacked twice in 18 snaps. Fields improvement, including a sped-up clock, is excellent to see. But fixing the Bears pass protection will be a location of concentration versus Seattle, one safely might assume.

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