Which Players Are Facing Make-or-Break Games in NFL Preseason Week 3?
Fans and media typically don't put much stock into the preseason, but for hundreds of players, their jobs are on the line on every snap.
We've seen an assortment of surprising performances from underrated guys and have witnessed many disappointing efforts from former starters or guys who entered the preseason on the roster bubble.
Let's take a look at four players who face make-or-break exhibition contests this weekend.
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English was the Chargers' first-round pick in the 2009 draft, but has hardly lived up to his draft position.
He appeared in 16 games as a rookie and recorded 36 tackles along with two sacks. Since then, he's played in only 13 games and has a mere five sacks.
The former Northern Illinois star is fighting for his job and a spot on San Diego's roster this preseason. Melvin Ingram was selected in the first round this year, and the Chargers love the versatility and natural pass-rushing talent he brings to the field.
Right now, he's listed as the third string LOLB behind Shaun Phillips and Antwan Barnes. He needs to display his ability as an impact player—if it's there—against the Vikings on Friday to have a shot to make the 53-man roster.
He had a sack in the preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers, but has only three total tackles through two exhibition contests.
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Ken Whisenhunt hasn't officially named his starting quarterback for the regular season, but $65 million man Kevin Kolb certainly doesn't have a firm grasp on the gig.
He's completed a mere four passes this preseason in limited action and was hurt in the opener against the New Orleans Saints in Canton.
Challenger John Skelton hasn't fared much better, but he's been serviceable and went 3-of-3 with a touchdown last week against the Oakland Raiders.
Tonight's game against the Tennessee Titans is Kolb's last chance to prove he deserves the starting job. If he struggles again and Skelton simply doesn't make critical mistakes, Kolb could be the highest paid backup signal-caller in the league.
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The Seattle Seahawks began training camp with a legitimate three-headed quarterback battle. However, after signing Matt Flynn in free agency, the general consensus was that he'd be given the edge in the competition as the regular season approached.
While Pete Carroll has given Flynn ample opportunity to succeed, he has simply been pedestrian at best.
Fourth-round draft pick Russell Wilson has been the most electric quarterback—if not offensive player—accounting for nearly 400 total yards and four touchdowns in the team's first two exhibition outings.
Flynn hasn't been atrocious, but he's averaging a 3.3 YPA and hasn't thrown a touchdown.
If Wilson turns in another admirable performance and Flynn doesn't provide a spark during his time on the field, he'll could be sitting on the bench come Week 1.
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Wayne Hunter's the most well-known right tackle in the NFL.
Usually, it's not good to be well-known as an offensive lineman.
His play in the preseason has been downright horrific, and the whole country was able to see his ineptitude against the New York Giants on Saturday night.
Hunter has been a turnstile on the right side for the Jets since last season, and hasn't done anything to prove he's improved as a pass-blocker heading into the 2012 regular season.
He's still the team's starting right tackle, but if he doesn't show development against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday Night Football, he may not make it past the team's first roster cut on August 28.