clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Players that might have clinched a roster spot in the 4th preseason game

New, comments
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Individual on-field play may not be the most decisive factor in determining who sticks and who doesn't, but rather the injuries that occurred during the game. The Patriots had Nate Solder, Devin Lucien, Keshawn Martin, and Tyler Gaffney go down during the game. Elandon Roberts suffered an injury on a kickoff although he would later return to the defensive lineup. The deadline for the Patriots to make roster cuts is Saturday at 4pm.

Aaron Dobson: A 4th quarter injury to Keshawn Martin could be the determining factor. Dobson was up and down, although he finished on a high note with a couple acrobatic catches in the 2nd quarter. On his first target, Dobson poorly executed a slant route with a slow break to the inside and stopping the route before the ball got there that set up Brady's only interception of the night. He rebounded nicely in the 2nd quarter, making a back shoulder grab on a poorly thrown ball by Tom Brady then outjumped his defender on a sideline fade. Since no other WR really stuck in this game, Dobson may take the final roster spot by default. With Malcolm Mitchell recovering from an elbow subluxation and Martin's uncertain status, Patriots need to have 4 healthy bodies at the position against the Cardinals.

Cameron Fleming and La'Adrian Waddle: The Patriots lost Nate Solder in the first quarter and Fleming immediately replaced him at left tackle. If Solder's injury has any consequences in terms of availability, the Patriots will have to carry 4 tackles on the opening roster just to have 3 healthy bodies at the position. Waddle wound up replacing Cannon in the second quarter and while he didn't stand out, he didn't suck either. The Patriots likely have Fleming above Waddle on the depth chart as Fleming came in at LT while Cannon was still out at RT.

Anthony Johnson: Johnson continues to produce as a sub rusher. With the first string defense, he was able to collapse the pocket and force Ryan Nassib to make throws under duress. While the Patriots DT rotation looks like Malcom Brown, Alan Branch, Markus Kuhn, and Vincent Valentine, the Patriots are going to be hard-pressed to leave a guy who did nothing but produce of the roster. Johnson also had a couple nice plays against the run, one of them coming when the Giants RG didn't finish a block. With three strong preseason games under his belt, I'd put his odds of making the roster at 75-25.

DJ Foster: The Tyler Gaffney situation bears monitoring, although DJ Foster put up a solid game once again. While i don't think Foster will be that much of a contributor in 2016, the Patriots don't have a rookie to handle the main receiving/3rd down back duties. James White is perfectly capable of handling that role and Brandon Bolden is a solid backup. The Patriots should stash Foster for 2016 and see what he's learned next preseason with both White and Dion Lewis being a year away from free agency.