The Jacksonville Jaguars host the Philadelphia Eagles tonight and while there won’t be many starters taking the field, the bottom half of the roster has quite a few open spots. Who will edge out as the primary backup behind Nick Foles? How will the bottom few spots at defensive back shake out? What about the offensive line?
There won’t be much to watch for tonight, but here are six players we’ll be keeping a close eye on.
QB Gardner Minshew II
Last week was, well, bad for Minshew. He completed just 50 percent of his passes and averaged only 3.3 yards per attempt. Folks, when your passing average is lower than Leonard Fournette’s career average, it’s a bad time. Granted, he was playing behind a patchwork offensive line made up largely of backups and he was throwing to God knows who at receiver (several of which dropped passes last week) but he’ll want to have a better game to stave off the questions of whether Alex McGough is a better primary backup.
RG Will Richardson
With A.J. Cann struggling, Richardson has impressed this offseason and is pushing for the starting guard role. He ended his season on injured reserve last year, but he played the most snaps in last week’s preseason game of all of the offensive lineman and he showed a lot of versatility playing tackle as well.
LT Leonard Wester
Right now, Wester is locked in with Josh Wells as co-primary backup at starting left tackle. Cam Robinson may be off PUP, but he’s still a question mark going into the Week 1 regular season opener in less than four weeks. If Robinson can’t go, which of Wester or Wells will make the start? If Wester plays well these next few weeks, he could be next in line.
FS C.J. Reavis
The free safety position is one in flux this offseason and while Jarrod Wilson is the starter, Reavis played like a bat out of hell last week. He led the team with eight tackles as Wilson was held out — alongside 31 other players — against the Baltimore Ravens. I want to see more of Reavis this preseason and it looks like I’ll get my wish.
CB Breon Borders
After Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, and D.J. Hayden, the bottom three cornerback spots are a bit up for grabs. Tre Herndon and Quenton Meeks have the lead on the fourth and fifth spot, but if Borders can impress it might convince the Jaguars to keep six cornerbacks on the 53-man roster. He played quite a bit with Ramsey, Bouye, and Hayden held out last week, and likely this week, Borders will look to stay in the game a little more than usual.
WR Tre McBride
The top six wide receivers — yes, six — were held out of last week’s game and McBride took advantage. He was the lone bright spot in the passing game, catching three passes on five targets for 42 yards, and is pushing to make himself a tough roster cut in the coming weeks.