Preseason viewer's guide: Locals make final case for a roster spot in Week 4 of preseason (16 items)
The final week of the preseason is here, which means it's time to give those players fighting for a spot on the 53-man active roster one final audition.
All games take place Thursday, giving teams a chance to evaluate their needs before Saturday's 2 p.m. MDT deadline to trim their rosters from 75 to 53 players.
During the first round of cuts this week, 14 players with Utah ties were released, while one, Utah's Joe Kruger, already joined another team. How many more locals will be on the chopping block this weekend?
For this week's preseason viewer's guide, I make my predictions of which local players will get cut. These players are indicated by a ** on the roster lists.
Here's a game-by-game look at Week 4 of the NFL preseason and which local ties to watch for this weekend (rookies are noted):
1 of 16. Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars
On the Falcons roster:
Paul Soliai, DT, Utah
Pat McQuistan, OL, Weber State
On the Jaguars roster:
Zane Beadles, G, Utah and Hillcrest High
**D.J. Tialavea, TE, Utah State and West Jordan High (rookie)
Of note: Tialavea has gotten his share of work during the preseason; a solid game Thursday could help his cause, as it appears Tialavea is fighting fellow tight end Brandon Barden for a spot.
2 of 16. Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills
On the Lions roster:
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State (rookie)
Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU (rookie)
On the Bills roster:
Of note: Late last week, Van Noy told reporters he was dealing with an injury and feared it could be a sports hernia. According to the Detroit Free Press, Van Noy will see a specialist.
3 of 16. Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals
On the Colts roster:
Stanley Havili, FB, Cottonwood High
On the Bengals roster:
Of note: Havili was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list earlier this week.
4 of 16. Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers
On the Chiefs roster:
Alex Smith, QB, Utah
Sean Smith, CB, Utah
Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU (rookie)
On the Packers roster:
Jarrett Bush, CB, Utah State
**Jake Doughty, LB, Utah State and Juan Diego High (rookie)
Of note: Sorensen, who signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, appears to have earned a spot on the 53-man roster after starting for an injured Eric Berry in all three of the Chiefs' preseason games. A strong game against the Packers could help bolster his position.
5 of 16. St. Louis Rams at Miami Dolphins
On the Rams roster:
Maurice Alexander, S, Utah State (rookie)
On the Dolphins roster:
Sam Brenner, C, Utah
Will Davis, CB, Utah State
John Denney, LS, BYU
Koa Misi, LB, Utah
Derrick Shelby, DE, Utah
Of note: Alexander, though a rookie, is the backup at strong safety for the Rams, and his position on the team looks safe.