Washington State will take the field for the first time this weekend, but for some Cougs now in the NFL, last weekend was their last chance to make an impression to stay on a roster this season. The three-week NFL preseason concluded on Sunday and now roster cuts are just around the corner.
Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to finalize their 53-man rosters. There are expanded practice squads this season, with an additional 16 players filling out those squads.
Here is how the Cougs fared in their final preseason showcase.
Gardner Minshew II - Philadelphia Eagles
Minshew made headlines this week as he was traded from Jacksonville to Philadelphia. Minshew joins Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco on the quarterback depth chart. Hurts is hardly the most secure starter in the league, having had mixed results in limited appearances last season. Where Minshew fits in will remain to be seen.
River Cracraft - San Francisco 49ers
It was a very eventful week for Cracraft. He was waived by the 49ers on Tuesday, only to re-sign with the 49ers on Saturday and play on Sunday. He was targeted once in the game, hauling it in for 23 yards. He returned two punts for 3 yards.
Andre Dillard - Philadelphia Eagles
Dillard returned to action for the first time since 2019 after missing all of last season due to injury. His name has surfaced in trade rumors this preseason, and there could certainly be some action around the roster crunch, but that’s hardly a sure thing.
RE: Andre Dillard.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) August 29, 2021
Thought he played fairly well in about 30 snaps vs. the Jets, his 1st game action in nearly 2 yrs.#Eagles helped some with several chip blocks, which you typically don’t see much of in the preseason.
Doubt it was done to help showcase. More for confidence.
Daniel Ekuale - Jacksonville Jaguars
Ekuale is one of six defensive tackles still on the Jaguars roster ahead of cuts. He tallied a single tackle in the final preseason game.
Anthony Gordon - Kansas City Chiefs
Gordon was released by the Chiefs on Monday. Gordon completed 18-of-24 passes for 121 yards in his preseason appearances. He cleared waivers after being released and could have shown enough to at least land on a practice squad. Teams typically keep at least one quarterback on the practice squad.
Frankie Luvu - Carolina Panthers
Luvu added another two tackles to his preseason total, capping off an excellent exhibition season.
Frankie Luvu finishes the preseason as the #Panthers highest graded defensive player (91.2).— PFF CAR Panthers (@PFF_Panthers) August 29, 2021
Luvu tied for the 2nd most total pressures (4) and stops (3) on 47 total snaps for Carolina. pic.twitter.com/6BgJgjXNE7
The Panthers traded a linebacker — penciled into the starting lineup — earlier this week which potentially opens up a roster spot and more playing time for Luvu.
Hercules Mata’afa - Minnesota Vikings
Mata’afa is battling for a roster spot and recorded a sack to help his cause. He is vying for a spot along the defensive line and appears to be firmly on the roster bubble according to 53-man roster projections.
Dezmon Patmon - Indianapolis Colts
Patmon hauled in two passes for 64 yards, including a 60-yarder. It wasn’t all good, however, as he did leave the game with an injury.
Dezmon Patmon left Friday night’s preseason finale with a foot injury. Don’t know the severity.— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) August 29, 2021
The severity of that injury could have a major impact on his status for the season. If healthy he made a strong statement to make the 53-man roster. Especially with an injury to receiver TY Hilton. If Patmon’s injury is significant, he could land on injured reserve or be waived with an injury designation.
Jalen Thompson - Arizona Cardinals
Thompson and the Cardinals were not in action this week as their game against New Orleans was canceled due to Hurricane Ida. That is not necessarily a bad thing as Thompson is already penciled into the Arizona starting lineup.
Easop Winston Jr. - New Orleans Saints
On the other side of the equation is Winston who did not get a chance to make another strong impression due to the canceled game. The Saints do have some injury issues at receiver, and Winston Jr. could help his case by also being active on special teams.
We will see which Cougs make rosters and practice squads Tuesday afternoon.
Washington State uncertain on when quarterback will be named | The Spokesman-Review
Coach Nick Rolovich might announce his starting quarterback publicly a few days ahead of Washington State’s season opener.
Then again, maybe he’ll try to keep that information under wraps until Saturday’s kickoff.