Preseason viewer’s guide: 10 Utah ties in NFL face off in Lions-Raiders matchup (16 items)
The opportunities for players to make a case for a spot on a 53-man NFL roster are dwindling.
The league's Aug. 26 deadline for rosters to be cut to 75 players is now just 12 days away, and all teams will have two more preseason games between now and then. Active rosters must be cut to 53 players by Aug. 30.
Among the top local games of interest this week is the Detroit Lions vs. Oakland Raiders matchup, which features 10 players with Utah ties, including seven rookies. Former Cougar Ezekiel Ansah was activated off the physically unable to perform list this week, but Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he will not play this weekend.
In total, eight games will be broadcast nationally this weekend, including the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Carolina Panthers game on Sunday (Fox) and the matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins on Monday (ESPN).
While established starters may see a bit more work this week compared to Week 1 of preseason, it's the third week of preseason play when they will see their bulk of their exhibition play.
Here's a game-by-game look at Week 2 of the NFL preseason and which local ties to watch for this weekend (rookies are noted):
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1 of 16. Jacksonville Jaguars at Chicago Bears
On the Jaguars roster:
Zane Beadles, G, Utah and Hillcrest High
D.J. Tialavea, TE, Utah State and West Jordan High (rookie)
On the Bears roster:
Stephen Paea, DT, Snow College and Timpview High
What to watch for: Beadles and Paea are established starters; the real storyline to follow is Tialavea, who is listed among three players at fourth on the depth chart at tight end. The undrafted rookie, who made two catches for 15 yards last week, will need to continue to produce just to have a chance at making the Jaguars' 53-man roster.
2 of 16. Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots
On the Eagles roster:
Joe Kruger, DE, Utah and Pleasant Grove High
Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State
On the Patriots roster:
Jordan Devey, OL, Snow College and American Fork High
Sealver Siliga, DT, Utah and Copper Hills High
L.T. Tuipulotu, DT, Utah (rookie)
Eathyn Manumaleuna, DT, BYU and Timpview High (rookie)
What to watch for: Kruger, a second-year pro, spent last year on the injured reserve and he made a few nice plays last week, including a tackle for loss and blocking a first-quarter field goal attempt against the Chicago Bears. ... Siliga injured his left hand last week, and he didn't practice Thursday, according to NESN.com. Also, the two rookies in this game appear to face long odds to make the Patriots roster, as Erik Frenz of Bleacher Report writes, "Eathyn Manumaleuna and L.T. Tuipulotu have yet to make any waves in training camp."
3 of 16. Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints
On the Titans roster:
On the Saints roster:
What to watch for: With no locals in this game, look out for rookie sensation Brandin Cooks. The speedy wide receiver from Oregon State — he was selected 20th overall in this year's NFL draft by the Saints — had five receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut last week vs. the St. Louis Rams.
4 of 16. Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders
On the Lions roster:
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State (rookie)
Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU (rookie)
On the Raiders roster:
Tony Bergstrom, OL, Utah and Skyline High
Bojay Filimoeatu, LB, Utah State and Granger High (rookie)
Keith McGill, CB, Utah (rookie)
Jake Murphy, TE, Utah and American Fork High (rookie)
Donald Penn, T, Utah State
Karl Williams, FB, Utah, Southern Utah and Layton High (rookie)
Spencer Hadley, ILB, BYU (rookie)
What to watch for: Seven rookies with local ties will take the field in this matchup. Of them, former Aggie Filimoeatu had the top statistical performance in Week 1 of the preseason with five tackles for the Raiders against the Minnesota Vikings; fellow first-team players McGill and Williams did not play. But McGill took first-team reps in the nickel package earlier this week when another player was out with an injury, according to Just Blog Baby. ... For the Lions, Van Noy made his debut last week against Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns. He had a pass deflection and just missed out on a pair of tackles for loss. Lawson had four tackles after entering the game late in the third quarter.
5 of 16. San Diego Chargers at Seattle Seahawks
On the Chargers roster:
Tenny Palepoi, DT, Utah, Snow College and Skyline High (rookie)
Brad Sorensen, QB, Southern Utah
Eric Weddle, FS, Utah
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State
On the Seahawks roster:
Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State
What to watch for: Sorensen, Williams and Palepoi are all fighting for backup positions, and each had his moment in the Chargers' preseason opener last week. They'll be looking to improve off the first-week efforts. ...Turbin started last week for the Seahawks in Marshawn Lynch's absence, but his performance was underwhelming: He had four carries for five yards. He'll need a better effort to try and warrant more touches when the regular season hits.