The life of an NFL player is tough. From sacrificing their bodies to make a living, to spending a good portion of their year away from their families. But most players would likely admit that the toughest part of their careers is always battling to make sure they get to stay in the NFL.
The sacrifices are plenty. Some NFL players don’t even get on a roster right away. Some are signed after the draft to be simple camp bodies. To keep a team's starters fresh for the season. Others are bounced from team to team, before ultimately finding a home. Most, however, never find their footing in the NFL and are heard from again.
That does not mean the following players fit in that last category. Some will bounce back in the next few games. Others likely know they will be on the streets at the end of the month.
So without further ado, here are the five players who hurt their roster spots.
Ross is second in line to be the team's returner. After fair catching a returnable punt, Ross stumbled and fell on a kick return. He has shown his value as a receiver in the preseason, but unless he can show the team he can be an asset on special teams, his time with the Cardinals could be short.
I doubt Holden gets cut from the Cardinals. Let me just state that. Holden hurt himself with two penalties, and a third that was declined. He was probably the weakest link on the third team offensive line. Gabbert constantly had to monitor his backside and bailed out of the pocket more often than he should have. Holden is young, as well as a fifth round rookie, so the struggles are to be expected.
Gabbert hurt himself to the smallest degree possible. He did as good as could be expected with a rookie offensive line, and receivers that are that low on the depth chart for a reason. He had a good connection with Marquis Bundy, but struggled to hook up with Krishawn Hogan. So why is Gabbert here? His pocket presence raised some concerns with me.
The line was not perfect, they are the bottom of the roster for a reason. But Gabbert bailed out of the pocket far too often. He stood and delivered a couple of nice throws under pressure, but it appeared he would run after his first read more than once. For now, though, I still think he sits in a good spot to make the teams 53 man roster.
Cornerbacks after the Williamses
Brandon and Tramon Williams looked fine in their respective performances. Everyone afterward?
Did not impress.
With a roster spot up for grabs, none of the young corners did enough to separate themselves from one another. Sojourn Shelton had a number of plays in which the receiver beat him, only to bailed out by a poor throw. Everyone else followed a similar story line. Keim and Arians are not afraid to scan the market for an upgrade, putting some of these players NFL lives in jeopardy.
I think Reddick took a slight step back in game two. Reddick will NOT be cut, no matter how poorly his preseason is, going forward. He is still learning a new position, new terminology, and is retraining how to use his eyes.
Reddick looked hesitant in the Hall of Fame game. He could not decide whether to attack the hole he saw the running back heading towards or to wait and see. As that game wore on, Reddick got better and better at making his decisions quicker.
That did not carry over into the Raiders game. He overpursued once, which is fine for a young player, but his decision making seemed to reset back to his early Hall of Fame game performance. Reddick is still battling to be the teams day one starter and is likely going to be that guy, but a healthy Bucannon could change the coaching staffs decision if Reddick doesn’t decide quicker.
Disagree? I believe my Reddick decision may be the one that most will disagree with, but discuss below. I am curious to see who I missed.
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