Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Aside from the six players that could lose their spot midway through the season, there are a number of players that are on the hot seat that nevertheless will likely continue to be starters throughout the 2013 season either by fortune of the depth chart or roster shuffling.
There's not a large chance that the Vikings will abandon Christian Ponder for Matt Cassel or even McLeod Bethel-Thompson despite what could be a depressing season from the Vikings signal-caller.
A poor showing in Detroit comes on the heels of questionable preseason play, itself dogged by questions that followed throughout the offseason. Despite a good game against Green Bay to close out the 2012 season, the benefit of the long view that the offseason gave fans clouded Christian Ponder's summer.
He didn't do much to temper concerns, throwing three interceptions. To his credit, he played a far deeper passing game, with four passes beyond 20 yards, per Pro Football Focus' subscription game tracking and had 8.4 yards per pass attempt, the second-highest of his career.
But he hurt the team more than he helped, even after acknowledging that he was likely not to blame for one interception and his fumble. Errant passes could have been more easily exploited by Detroit, and Ponder rarely moved beyond his first read.
Backups Cassel and Bethel-Thompson likely don't have the talent to really be starters in the NFL, so there's not much choice when it comes to picking a starting quarterback. But the same won't be true when the season finishes, and Ponder will play for his job throughout 2013.
Erin Henderson will start for the Vikings for the remainder of the season, barring injury or an uncharacteristic dropoff in ability. But he shows up as an honorable mention because he may not continue starting as a middle linebacker for the Vikings, where he's currently installed.
A quiet game marked by misreading gaps and taking poor tackling angles didn't help Henderson's case as he worked to prove he's a reliable starting middle linebacker.
A former outside linebacker, Henderson also endured a slew of questions as he made his position switch to the inside. Without more impressive showings in future games, Henderson could see himself moved outside and free-agent-signing Desmond Bishop take his place.
For now, Henderson is safe due to Bishop's slow introduction to the team and playing time, but more poor performances from him could see him revert to the weak-side linebacker position, one that is clearly outside of his ambitions.
The former Arkansas receiver played in 27 snaps, which was more than starters-in-name only Rhett Ellison and Marvin Mitchell, who combined for only 25.
Wright didn't get a look in the game, despite being the team's primary slot receiver and clear third option in "11" personnel sets.
More to the point, there's no chance Wright advances ahead of Greg Jennings on the roster, and Jerome Simpson's excellent game will keep him afloat for a little bit as well. But should Wright falter and Simpson fade, there is a small possibility of a roster shuffle.
Jennings could move back into the slot, a natural position for him, while Simpson plays Jennings' flanker position and Cordarrelle Patterson takes over at split end. This would leave Jarius Wright as the odd man out, and he's in the odd position of competing with the Tennessee rookie despite not playing the same position.
Should Wright fulfill the promise he showed in the preseason, he won't likely lose his relatively prominent role. But if Patterson's development proceeds ahead of schedule and Simpson can't impress, Wright could be in trouble.