The third week of the NFL preseason, the most important week when it comes to starters seeing playing time, is behind us. Yet, there are still starters jockeying, who do not have their respective jobs set in stone. These starters are working to hold off teammates from splitting time or taking their jobs outright.
Preseason performances have only told us so much, but was it enough to determine whether the starters will have their roles in Week 1?
With one more preseason game to go, there are still these 10 starters who should look over their shoulders as we approach the start of the season.
Colts former first-round pick Joseph Addai helped the Colts to a Super Bowl victory in his first season. However, Addai is in the midst of a battle with 2009 first-round pick Donald Brown, who is quickly emerging as a legitimate threat to carry the workload in Indianapolis.
Addai has shown his talents in spurts, but has not developed into the consistent threat Brown may given Brown's burst, agility, and tough running style. Brown has been compared most to the Ravens' Ray Rice. If Brown can run like Rice, it may be him getting the first hand off in Week 1.
Brandon Jacobs was the battering ram of the Giants offense in 2007 and 2008. However, knee injuries and other contact injuries have noticeably sapped power from the big running back.
Jacobs failed to reach 1,000 yards last season despite playing in more games than he did in 2007 and 2008. More significant, though, was his career low in yards per carry.
Concerns about his inability to burst through the line and run with the authority the Giants were used to, has opened the door for the shiftier and equally tough runner Ahmad Bradshaw.
The Giants must get greater production out of their running game in 2010 than last season, and will likely go with whoever has the hotter hand.
Williams may not be out of his starting job right now, but it is likely only a matter of time before Dez Bryant pushes his way into the job with our without the help of Jerry Jones.
The Cowboys want a bigger, faster deep target, and Williams has yet to give the Cowboys coaching staff (and Jones) the confidence that he can be the bread-winner as Tony Romo's deep threat.
The Chiefs brought in Jones after a successful tenure with the Jets.
While Jones, the veteran, may have the starting job for now, the younger Charles--who impressed in the second half of the season--could force his way into the starting job. Charles' younger, fresher legs, greater speed on the edge, and improvisational ability could flip the depth chart after Jones entered camp as the starter.
The adage in sports is that one shouldn't lose his to job injury. That may be for Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez to believe.
Gonzalez missed all of last season to a knee injury and in his stead arrived in Pierre Garcon, who became Peyton Manning's No. 2 receiver last year.
Gonzalez, whose numbers improved over his first two seasons in 2007 and 2008, must now vie with Garcon to lineup counter Reggie Wayne. The Colts would be less likely to have the position battle if Garcon wasn't as good as he was in 2009. However, Garcon seized the opportunity and may knock Gonzalez out of his job.
Steve Slaton had an excellent rookie season in 2008 when he rushed for over 1,200 yards.
However, 2009 was a different story as inconsistency and injury wrecked his season. Now, Slaton must battle to regain his starting job with second-year back Adrian Foster, who rushed for 218 yards in the final two games of 2009, and 2010 second-round pick Ben Tate.
The cards are definitely stacked against Slaton, who battled a case of fumble-itis last year and now faces an even deeper roster at his position.
Leinart may get used to wearing that ball cap after Derek Anderson was handed the starting job for the Cardinals in the last preseason game over the weekend. Leinart had a good showing in Saturday's game as he went 9-for-10 for 84 yards.
Yet, Anderson put in his own good performance, which could leave the decision in the air until after the Cardinals final game. Leinart headed into camp as the assumed No. 1 guy, but likely needs one more assertive performance to put the questions behind him.
The Redskins have a trio of running backs on the final legs of their careers in Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker. While Portis is the incumbent, he has yet to truly differentiate himself from Johnson who comes in as his biggest challenger.
Neither has produced that much on the field in the preseason, but Johnson had a marginally better 2009 season and has the advantage of avoiding injury in the preseason; unlike Portis who recently went down with a sprained ankle.
The Eagles acquired Tapp in the off-season, and gave him a three-year contract. However, the Eagles' decision to move up the draft board and take Michigan's Brandon Graham could put serious heat on Tapp.
Graham's better speed could win him the job to place opposite Trent Cole on the edge. There could be a rotation in the making between Graham and Tapp, but Graham's agility and burst off the line make him an intriguing option to start the year.
Felix Jones started receiving more reps last season and, with greater bulk on his frame this year, could be in a position to take the job from Marion the Barbarian because of his home-run threat ability.
Barber will still be there to grind meat and wear the opposition down, but Jones' big-play ability could help him overtake the No. 1 spot once and for all.