For many the fourth preseason game is the worst. None of the starters or key backups will play if at all possible, and many of the guys getting extensive snaps won’t be on the team after this weekend. So what is there to watch for tonight?
A lot, actually.
Tonight, we’ll get a clear look at the entire roster bubble, and hopefully we’ll see some guys that play their hearts out in their best opportunity to win a job whether it’s in Kansas City or elsewhere.
Who to watch tonight...
QB: Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray, Kevin Hogan
Bray is the presumptive No. 3 QB and hasn’t played much in the preseason due to his “not as bad as it sounds” neck injury. Murray is rumored to be on the trade block (and likely on the cut list if not traded) so the team may not want to expose him too much. Watch to see how much Hogan plays. If he doesn’t play much, it could be an indication he is a candidate for the practice squad, and they want to limit the tape on him for other teams.
RB: Darren Reaves and Knile Davis
Knile Davis is the guy to watch here, as the team reportedly (and repeatedly) has tried to trade him. If he sits, it’s to protect his health for a trade. If he plays, it’s an extended audition for other teams. Either way, his status is up in the air. Reaves has been great this preseason. He should get the bulk of the carries.
WR: Demarcus Robinson, Frankie Hammond, De'Anthony Thomas and Tyreek Hill
Robinson and DAT are the ones to watch at the WR position tonight. Robinson hasn’t played much yet, leading many to question where he fits in with the team this year. Perhaps he’ll get the bulk of the work tonight, given the fact that he’s likely on the roster (and likely buried on the depth chart) Thomas has been rumored to be available via trade before but has performed pretty well so far. He’d be claimed pretty quickly on the waiver wire so he’s playing for his spot on someone’s roster tonight - it may just not be the Chiefs.
TE: Ross Travis, Brian Parker and James O'Shaughnessy
The Chiefs could keep three or four TEs, with the top two already set in stone (Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris) and not likely to play. Ross Travis is presumed to be the favorite for the No. 3 job after a strong offseason, so Parker and Shags could be competing for one job tonight - if they keep four.
OL: Jordan Devey, Reid Fragel, Daniel Munyer, Jarrod Pughsley and Zach Sterup
Zach Fulton and Jah Reid, even though they are the key o-line backups, may see some snaps because they need bodies out there. Otherwise, it’s these five. I’m not sure any of these five has a very good chance at the 53, so I’ll just hope that the offensive line holds up well enough to get a good look at the skill players tonight. Maybe someone on this list wins a job with a strong game? Devey has NFL experience.
DL: Nick Williams, David King, Jimmy Staten and Rakeem Nunez-Roches
I could see the Chiefs going with five or six defensive linemen this season. Williams, RNR and King all have a shot at the final one or two spots behind the imposing four defensive linemen (Poe, Bailey, Howard, Jones). It will be interesting to see who stands out in extended action without the focus on Jones.
LB: Ramik Wilson, Terrance Smith, D.J. Alexander, Tyrell Adams
OLB: Andy Mulumba, Dezman Moses and Dadi Nicolas
This group just got a lot thinner with Mauga going on IR and Houston hitting the reserve PUP list. The team could keep up to 10 LBs, so there’s a very good opportunity for (almost) everyone on this list to win a job. We’re guessing new starter Justin March won’t play.
Or will they continue to scour the waiver wire, as indicated by the Paul Kruger interest? All eyes will be on Dadi Nicolas tonight, as he gets another chance to win over the coaches and fans.
DB: Marcus Cooper, D.J. White, KeiVarae Russell , Kenneth Acker, Eric Murray, Brock Vereen, Jamell Fleming and Shak Randolph
We’ll get our first look at Kenneth Acker, just acquired via trade with San Francisco. Can he be more than just a special teams player? Perhaps tonight KeiVarae Russell finally gets extended snaps to prove he belongs on the roster. Cooper, Vereen and Fleming might be auditioning for other teams tonight, as this position group is crowded with young players that Dorsey has recently invested in.