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Five bubble players to watch in the Arizona Cardinals preseason finale

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Who has to prove something tonight in the Arizona Cardinals final preseason game?

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

For most of the NFL the final preseason game is there to give players on the brink one last chance to show out on film.

It gives young players a chance to play nearly an entire NFL game, accumulate more tape and then have that tape for future employment opportunities within the NFL.

Yet, for some it is also a chance to make one final statement to make the roster on the team you are currently playing for.

That’s what the question is for the Arizona Cardinals bubble players heading into tonight’s fourth and final preseason game of 2018.

Can they make their case one last time and prove they deserve a spot on the Arizona Cardinals final 53?

Here are five who will have to show well one last time to cement their spot.

Cap Capi - The fan favorite Capi has been one of the better players in the NFL this preseason, but his position on the final 53 is precarious at best.

With Vontarrius Dora looking like a lock, Benson Mayowa and Chandler Jones entrenched as starters and Markus Golden coming back from injury, the question becomes, do they keep five defensive ends. Capi is battling Jacques Smith for that fifth and final spot, who takes it?

A.J. Howard - Howard only saw 25 snaps defensively in a crowded safety room, but he has played well throughout the preseason. He is a big presence who is physical and likes to hit. His biggest hurdle to overcome is he isn’t a special teams player. In their third preseason game, Howard saw one snap on special teams. Meanwhile, fellow UDFA rookie Ezekiel Turner played no snaps on defense, but saw 18 snaps on specials. That means Howard has to continue to play big on defense and show he has some potential to be a contributor on defense.

Peli Anau - With the rash of injuries the Arizona Cardinals are dealing with on defense, specifically along the interior defensive line, keeping five defensive tackles seems likely. Anau is going to be in a battle with fellow lineman Pasoni Tasini for that spot, barring a free agent signing. Anau looked really, really good against Dallas, so let’s see if he can make it two in a row.

Deatrick Nichols - One of the first players I thought had a chance to make the roster after UDFA signings were announced, Nichols has played a lot and played well. He is a physical corner with strong zone instincts, but the secondary of the Cardinals is a tough nut to crack. One thing Nichols has on his side is he does contribute on specials quite a bit.

Trent Sherfield - Early in camp, Sherfield was the buzz about town, but since the action has started he has been mostly quiet on offense. Jess Root thinks he is on the Jaron Brown plan, which means a slow play to the offense, but an immediate contributor on teams, where he is playing nearly 50% of the snaps already. The question becomes, with the Cardinals lack of talent in the preseason at wide receiver, can they pass up a potentially more competent immediate impact player on offense for someone they see as more of a down the road type?

Who are you watching tonight?