There were a handful of players in the Jacksonville Jaguars matchup with the New York Giants on Friday night who both helped their position on the roster and some who hurt their position. While it's only the first preseason game and you can't take too much from it, there are things players can do to push themselves up or down the depth chart and earn more or less playing time.
Here are some players who helped their causes to make the final 53:
Mike Thomas, Wide Receiver: Thomas had been struggling through mini-camp and much of training camp simply catching the football. On Friday evening, as I noted on Saturday, Mike Thomas seemingly wiped away all of his training camp struggles in one preseason, finishing up the game with four catches for 89 yards to lead the team, including a 24-yard reception on the opening touchdown drive.
Jordan Palmer, Quarterback: While Palmer was mostly written off as a camp arm would wouldn't make the final cut, he put together a solid scrimmage and then backed it up with a 9-for-13 and 110 yard performance on Friday evening. I'm not ready to start the Palmer over Chad Henne conversation yet, but it looks like Palmer is going to make it interesting.
Drew Nowak, Offensive Line: Nowak made the switch from defensive tackle to offensive guard last week, due to the injuries at the left guard position. I made sure to watch Nowak on a few drives while I was in the stadium and I came away thoroughly impressed. Nowak was moving people on running plays and held his own on passing plays. You can see him still kind of question where he should block, but the good thing is he finds someone to block if he's not sure. I think Nowak has a chance to stick, and wind up a very good player at the guard position.
Aaron Morgan, Defensive End: Morgan had had another solid training camp in 2012, to follow up his 2011 training camp that had a lot of people singing his praises. In 2011, Morgan couldn't follow it up due to an injury that landed him on IR, but on Friday night he was in the backfield most of the game harassing the quarterbacks. Morgan ended the night with 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hits, but he also was close to a few other sacks and caused a few others.
Rashad Jennings, Running Back: Jennings having a nice night on Friday was really a surprise to no one who had been out to training camp. Jennings has looked like the Jaguars could roll him out on the field and rush the football just fine. He backed that up Friday night finishing the game with 12 carries for 56 yards, including a nice 17-yard run to the outside.