Texans-Cowboys: Final Preseason Odds And Ends, Latest 53 Man Roster Prediction
GUYS THE COWBOY GAME MATTERS FOR
Case Keenum/T.J. Yates
I'm actually just putting this in here to be one of the cool kids. If you're not talking about the "battle" for the Texans backup quarterback spot, you ain't nothin', man! Truth be told, this is far less of a battle than some make it out to be. T.J. Yates would basically have to power bomb Gary Kubiak through the Gatorade table at this point to lose the backup job to Keenum.
Posey's recovery from rupturing his Achilles has been nothing short of remarkable, and now in just over seven months, he will return to the field Thursday night. It's important for him to get reps not just to shake off recuperation period rust, but to merely play some football. People forget how little football he's played over the last three years with his multiple suspensions at Ohio State and his sparse playing time during the burn-in period of his rookie season last year.
Cierre Wood/Dennis Johnson
At this point, Deji Karim has all but locked up the third running back spot behind Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and rookie Ray Graham was the first contestant eliminated on Bachelor: The Battle For A Practice Squad Running Back Slot when he was let go in the "get to 75" purge. (Kubiak phrase barrage coming here...) This leaves the two kids Wood and Johnson battle-fighting like heck to see who the best kid is. My money is on Wood. I just think if anything catastrophic happened at running back, he could step in, get tough yards, and run well in the Texans scheme in an NFL game.
A.J. Bouye, Willie Jefferson, and Justin Tuggle
Here are your three undrafted free agents with the best chance of making the team. Thursday night should be like the goddamn Super Bowl for these guys. Hell, Tuggle and Jefferson have actually started preseason games in Whitney Mercilus' absence, so if they don't make the team for some reason, it'll only be because the team spent third and fourth round draft choices on....
Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams
I'm not going to be draft pick overreact guy and call these two picks a disaster or anything. Disaster is a knee injury to Brian Cushing in Week 5. At this point, these two guys are just mildly troubling developments. Easily, one of the hardest decisions in coming up with a 53 man roster is what to do with Williams.
Ultra productive in college, a calf injury has set the sixth round pick back slightly in his battle for a roster spot. I'd be surprised if Jones didn't at least make the practice squad, but this is no longer a team where draft picks are guaranteed anything.
Ask Nick Mondek.
So now that we've come full circle on this post, let's take a quick stab at what the roster will look like come Friday evening.
PRE-COWBOY GAME 53 MAN ROSTER PREDICTION
QB (3): Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum
RB (3): Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Deji Karim
FB (1): Greg Jones
WR (5): Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, DeVier Posey, Lestar Jean, Keshawn Martin
TE (3): Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, Ryan Griffin
OL (9): Duane Brown, Wade Smith, Chris Myers, Brandon Brooks, Derek Newton, Ben Jones, David Quessenberry, Brennan Williams, Ryan Harris
DT (2): Earl Mitchell, Terrell McClain
DE (4): J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith, Tim Jamison, Jared Crick
ILB (4): Brian Cushing, Joe Mays, Darryl Sharpton, Tim Dobbins
OLB (6): Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, Bryan Braman, Willie Jefferson, Justin Tuggle, Sam Montgomery
CB (6): Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Brice McCain, Brandon Harris, A.J. Bouye, Roc Carmichael
S (4): Danieal Manning, Ed Reed, D.J. Swearinger, Shiloh Keo
K (1): Randy Bullock
P (1): Shane Lechler
LS (1): Jon Weeks
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.