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Victor Oladipo, Pacers

Jets: 3 players on the roster bubble entering preseason finale

The New York Jets are beginning a new era under Adam Gase as their head coach this season. After his first preseason with the franchise, Gase will have to ponder over who to cut to reduce the roster to 53 players this week.

Before that, New York will be facing the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in their preseason finale. The Jets have begun the preseason at 1-2 and are hoping to end the preseason on a high note.

Due to it being the last game of the preseason, Gase will likely rest his starters with the regular season approaching. Therefore, the Jets will have a chance to get a detailed look at the players who are fighting for the last spots on the roster.

This offseason, the team added a ton of talent to surround second-year quarterback Sam Darnold. In free agency, the team signed All-Pro Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Jamison Crowder.

Bell sat out the entire 2018 season after not signing his franchise tender with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nonetheless, Bell will be crucial to how successful the offense is this season.

Entering the final week of the preseason, it’s safe to say that Darnold, Bell, and Crowder will make the roster. The same can’t be said for these three players entering the Jets’ preseason finale versus the Eagles.

3. Stephone Anthony

In New York’s second preseason contest against the Atlanta Falcons, Avery Williamson suffered a devastating knee injury. After receiving an MRI, it was confirmed that the team’s leading tackler in 2018 would be out for the 2019 season due to a torn ACL.

As a result of Williamson’s season-ending injury, the Jets will need to take a closer look at their linebacker positions. One linebacker who could be on his way out of New York could be Stephone Anthony.

He recently signed with the Jets after beginning training camp with the Atlanta Falcons. Prior to that, Anthony had spent his first three seasons with the New Orleans Saints and his last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins.

The veteran linebacker didn’t receive any reps in the team’s third preseason game so that’s not helpful for his case to make the roster. This week, the former Dolphins linebacker will need to turn some heads on the field—if he actually sees it.

2. Deonte Thompson

This offseason, the Jets focused on giving their franchise quarterback more weapons to target this year. Presently, Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, and Jamison Crowder will be the starters to begin the season.

After those three guys, the rest of the receiver spots are for the taking. At this moment, Deonte Thompson seems to be an underdog to solidify his case to secure a role on the team for this season.

Thompson has gotten some snaps this preseason but hasn’t done much with them. The veteran receiver has only corralled four receptions for 39 yards in three games this preseason.

Entering the final week, the Florida product will need to have a jaw-dropping performance against the Eagles to guarantee himself a roster spot.

1. Elijah McGuire

With the signing of Le’Veon Bell this offseason, the backfield has become fairly crowded in New York. Undoubtedly, Bell will handle the majority of the workload, with Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell figuring to have decent roles as well.

Behind those three running backs, Trenton Cannon, Elijah McGuire, and Valentine Holmes. With that being said, the final running back spot will likely be decided between Cannon and McGuire.

As it currently stands, Cannon seems to have the slight edge over McGuire to making the roster. Through three preseason contests, McGuire has struggled to get anything going with 48 yards on 16 carries.

For Cannon, the second-year running back is coming off an impressive performance against the Saints last week. The Jets’ sixth-round pick from 2018 ran for 51 yards on six rushing attempts.

Thus, McGuire will need to do something drastic to propel himself above Cannon on the depth chart. Come Saturday, we could see McGuire being released from the team to trim their roster to 53 players.