Arizona Cardinals: What The Bubble Players Need To Do

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 17: Running back William Powell #33 of the Arizona Cardinals leaps over defensive back Chimdi Chekwa #35 of the Oakland Raiders as he rushes the football during the second half of the NFL preseason game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 17, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The last game of the 2012 pre-season looms large tonight as the Arizona Cardinals welcome the Denver Broncos to University of Phoenix stadium. With final cuts to be done tomorrow, this article will look at those players on the bubble and what they'll need to do in tonight's game to be safe once the cutting is done.

Hit the jump to see the players and the challenges ahead of them.

On the offensive side of the ball, there are a few roster spots still up for grabs, and we'll start with the field general.

QB:

Ryan Lindley - As a 2012 draft prick, all Lindley has to do is prove that he has more upside than the second coming of Derek Anderson. He's starting tonight, so this will be his opportunity to make his mark.

Rich Bartel - All Bartel can do is suit up tonight and pray that Lindley has an outing that shows him incapable of playing the position. O, and pack his bags.

RB:

Alfonso Smith - Has been a fixture of the team a few years and has even had some decent looks in pre-season, racking up yardage and scores. However, he may be neck in neck or just behind a guy who leads the league in yards for the pre-season. To win this spot, Smith has to be decisive in his running, find the end zone at least once, and shine in pass protection.

William Powell - Powell epitomizes a man making all he can of his chances. He's run hard in the pre-season and is the guy leading the league in rush yards. To win the spot, all he needs to do is continue to play at the level he's shown in each game so far.

Javarris James - To be frank, unless Smith and Powell go down with injuries, there is nothing James can do in his last game to unseat the two RBs mentioned prior to him.

WR:

LaRon Byrd - Byrd needs to perform in this game like he has the rest of the pre-season games. Make tough catches down the sideline and across the middle. Show up on special teams.

Stephen Williams - Suit up, but last report has him nursing an Achilles injury. I think this might be the last hurrah for the young man who shined as a pre-season warrior two seasons in a row.

Isaiah Williams - Williams name hasn't been called much this pre-season, and with one spot up for grabs, I don't see him outpacing Byrd for it. But if he were to have a monster game with 100 plus yards, with a majority of those coming after the catch and a few TD's, he might steal it away.

TE:

Jim Dray - Dray has been on the team a few years, but has yet to develop into the TE to crack the starting spot. He has been quiet in pre-season games, and I expect this to be his final year with the team.

Steve Skelton - Skelton has done more in pre-season that Dray has, including a few receptions. If the Cardinals carry four, look for him to be the 4th spot.

Martell Webb - Webb appears to be a young man who has potential, but is caught in the numbers game. I don't see him being able to do anything to change that

OL:

Nate Potter - Even with the issues at tackle, I don't see any chance of the Cards carrying Potter on their final 53.

Senio Kelemente - I don't see any chance of the Cards carrying Kelemente on their final 53.

Rich Ohrnberger - If the Cards carry 9 players on the offensive line, expect Ohrnberger to make the roster.

Scott Wedgie - Expect Wedgie to be the backup center on the Cards roster.

Now to the defensive side of the ball, where we will once again start with the field general.

ILB:

Quan Sturdivant - Quan needs to have another solid outing and hope that the Cardinals decide that Bradley has outplayed Lenon, and that youth is the way to go.

Colin Parker - There is currently nothing Parker can do to make the final 53.

OLB:

Antonio Coleman - I don't see Coleman making the roster at OLB, he'd have to piggyback players who have popped in pre-season games.

Clark Haggans - To be honest, I like Haggans, but I think his time is behind him. That being said, if he has a big game tonight Card's brass might keep him in favor of youth.

Brandon Williams - Williams has shown in pre-season and appears to be set to be second string behind Sam Acho.

Quentin Groves - Groves needs to have another solid outing tonight and then hope that the Cards go with youth over age and experience, or he could fall victim to Haggans.

DL:

Rickey Lumpkin - Unless the Cards carry seven defensive linemen, expect Lumpkin to not make the cut.

Ronald Talley - Unless the Cards carry seven defensive linemen, expect Talley to not make the cut.

Everette Thompson - Unless the Cards carry seven defensive linemen, expect Thompson to not make the cut.

DB:

Michael Adams - Adams needs to have a stellar outing on special teams and show that in coverage he is not the liability that most of the Card's fan base thinks he is.

Crezdon Butler - Butler will need to show up on both special teams and show that he can play multiple DB positions to make this team.

Greg Toler - Toler needs to show that his knee is 100% and knock the rust off, otherwise he will be on the outside looking in.

Blake Gideon - Gideon has done some nice things in pre-season games this year, but as a rookie, I don't see him cracking the 53 this year.

A.J. Jefferson - Jefferson needs to look good in special teams and also show competence in the secondary to take the spot from Adams or Toler.

Larry Parker - Parker has done some nice things in pre-season games this year, but as a rookie, I don't see him cracking the 53 this year.

And there you have it, my take on what the bubble players can do, if anything to grab a spot on the 53 man roster. Good luck to them all tonight. And go Cardinals!

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