The opportunities for players to make a case for a spot on a 53-man NFL roster are dwindling.
The league's Aug. 26 deadline for rosters to be cut to 75 players is now just 12 days away, and all teams will have two more preseason games between now and then. Active rosters must be cut to 53 players by Aug. 30.
Among the top local games of interest this week is the Detroit Lions vs. Oakland Raiders matchup, which features 10 players with Utah ties, including seven rookies. Former Cougar Ezekiel Ansah was activated off the physically unable to perform list this week, but Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he will not play this weekend.
In total, eight games will be broadcast nationally this weekend, including the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Carolina Panthers game on Sunday (Fox) and the matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins on Monday (ESPN).
While established starters may see a bit more work this week compared to Week 1 of preseason, it's the third week of preseason play when they will see their bulk of their exhibition play.
Here's a game-by-game look at Week 2 of the NFL preseason and which local ties to watch for this weekend (rookies are noted):
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Thursday, 6 p.m. MDT, TV: ESPN
On the Jaguars roster:
Zane Beadles, G, Utah and Hillcrest High
D.J. Tialavea, TE, Utah State and West Jordan High (rookie)
On the Bears roster:
Stephen Paea, DT, Snow College and Timpview High
What to watch for: Beadles and Paea are established starters; the real storyline to follow is Tialavea, who is listed among three players at fourth on the depth chart at tight end. The undrafted rookie, who made two catches for 15 yards last week, will need to continue to produce just to have a chance at making the Jaguars' 53-man roster.
Friday, 5:30 p.m., TV: NFL Network
On the Eagles roster:
Joe Kruger, DE, Utah and Pleasant Grove High
Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State
On the Patriots roster:
Jordan Devey, OL, Snow College and American Fork High
Sealver Siliga, DT, Utah and Copper Hills High
L.T. Tuipulotu, DT, Utah (rookie)
Eathyn Manumaleuna, DT, BYU and Timpview High (rookie)
What to watch for: Kruger, a second-year pro, spent last year on the injured reserve and he made a few nice plays last week, including a tackle for loss and blocking a first-quarter field goal attempt against the Chicago Bears. ... Siliga injured his left hand last week, and he didn't practice Thursday, according to NESN.com. Also, the two rookies in this game appear to face long odds to make the Patriots roster, as Erik Frenz of Bleacher Report writes, "Eathyn Manumaleuna and L.T. Tuipulotu have yet to make any waves in training camp."
Friday, 6 p.m., no TV
On the Titans roster:
On the Saints roster:
What to watch for: With no locals in this game, look out for rookie sensation Brandin Cooks. The speedy wide receiver from Oregon State — he was selected 20th overall in this year's NFL draft by the Saints — had five receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut last week vs. the St. Louis Rams.
Friday, 8 p.m., no TV
On the Lions roster:
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State (rookie)
Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU (rookie)
On the Raiders roster:
Tony Bergstrom, OL, Utah and Skyline High
Bojay Filimoeatu, LB, Utah State and Granger High (rookie)
Keith McGill, CB, Utah (rookie)
Jake Murphy, TE, Utah and American Fork High (rookie)
Donald Penn, T, Utah State
Karl Williams, FB, Utah, Southern Utah and Layton High (rookie)
Spencer Hadley, ILB, BYU (rookie)
What to watch for: Seven rookies with local ties will take the field in this matchup. Of them, former Aggie Filimoeatu had the top statistical performance in Week 1 of the preseason with five tackles for the Raiders against the Minnesota Vikings; fellow first-team players McGill and Williams did not play. But McGill took first-team reps in the nickel package earlier this week when another player was out with an injury, according to Just Blog Baby. ... For the Lions, Van Noy made his debut last week against Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns. He had a pass deflection and just missed out on a pair of tackles for loss. Lawson had four tackles after entering the game late in the third quarter.
Friday, 8 p.m., TV: NFL Network
On the Chargers roster:
Tenny Palepoi, DT, Utah, Snow College and Skyline High (rookie)
Brad Sorensen, QB, Southern Utah
Eric Weddle, FS, Utah
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State
On the Seahawks roster:
Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State
What to watch for: Sorensen, Williams and Palepoi are all fighting for backup positions, and each had his moment in the Chargers' preseason opener last week. They'll be looking to improve off the first-week efforts. ...Turbin started last week for the Seahawks in Marshawn Lynch's absence, but his performance was underwhelming: He had four carries for five yards. He'll need a better effort to try and warrant more touches when the regular season hits.
Saturday, 2 p.m., TV: NFL Network
On the Packers roster:
Jarrett Bush, CB, Utah State
Jake Doughty, LB, Utah State and Juan Diego High (rookie)
On the Rams roster:
Maurice Alexander, S, Utah State (rookie)
What to watch for: This all-Aggie contest has a pair of rookies trying to make an impression. Doughty had five tackles and a fumble recovery last week, while Alexander is listed as the backup at strong safety on the depth chart. Despite his big game, Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel predicted Doughty would not make it through cuts down to the Packers' 53-man roster.
Saturday, 5 p.m., no TV
On the Giants roster:
Dallas Reynolds, C, BYU and Timpview High
On the Colts roster:
Stanley Havili, FB, Cottonwood High and USC
What to watch for: According to Dan Graziano of ESPN, Reynolds was a part of the second-team unit for the Giants last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's looking to stick around for a second season in New York. ... Havili is still on the physically unable to perform list.
Saturday, 5 p.m., no TV
On the Jets roster:
Tevita Finau, DT, Utah
Trevor Reilly, OLB, Utah (rookie)
Caleb Schlauderaff, G, Utah
Michael Smith, RB, Utah State
On the Bengals roster:
R.J. Stanford, DB, Utah
What to watch for: Reilly made his debut last week and picked up a tackle for the Jets. The seventh-round pick is listed third on the depth chart at outside linebacker. ... Smith, a recent signee by the Jets, did not play last week and could face being cut again. He was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in May.
Saturday, 5 p.m., TV: NFL Network
On the Ravens roster:
Haloti Ngata, DT, Highland High
A.J. Pataiali’i, DT, Utah State, Snow College and Hunter High (rookie)
Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU
Steve Smith Sr., WR, Utah
On the Cowboys roster:
What to watch for: Pitta and Smith both had one catch on the Ravens' opening drive last week before sitting the remainder of the game. Expect perhaps a little more work from them this week but not much, especially since Pitta missed practice time earlier this week with a minor ankle injury. Pataiali'i may get the most playing time among the locals, though he faces long odds to make the 53-man roster on a deep Ravens defensive line.
Saturday, 5:30 p.m., no TV
On the Dolphins roster:
Sam Brenner, C, Utah
Will Davis, CB, Utah State
John Denney, LS, BYU
Tyler Larsen, OL, Utah State and Jordan High (rookie)
Koa Misi, LB, Utah
Derrick Shelby, DE, Utah
On the Buccaneers roster:
What to watch for: The Dolphins employ several locals, many of which have established roles on the team, and second-year pro Davis made a strong impression with three pass deflections and a tackle last week. Larsen may need the most help here to make team, as he sits at fourth string at center on the depth chart.
Saturday, 5:30 p.m., no TV
On the Bills roster:
Stevenson Sylvester, LB, Utah
On the Steelers roster:
Hebron Fangupo, DT, BYU
Al Lapuaho, DT, Utah State, Snow College and Granger High
Brice McCain, CB, Utah
Vic So’oto, LB, BYU
What to watch for: None of these five locals made a big impact last week. Of them, McCain, who's started 10 games in his career, Fangupo and Sylvester are listed as backups. Matthew Marczi of Steelers Depot highlighted his special-teams play against the Giants last week.
Saturday, 6 p.m., no TV
On the Falcons roster:
Tay Glover-Wright, CB, Utah State (rookie)
Paul Soliai, DT, Utah
On the Texans roster:
Anthony Denham, TE, Utah (rookie)
Xavier Su’a-Filo, OL, Timpview High (rookie)
What to watch for: Su'a-Filo, a second-round draft pick by the Texas, is getting more responsibility thrown his way, and he could start vs. the Falcons. According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, Su'a-Filo played 24 snaps against the Arizona Cardinals last week, and earlier this week he earned first-team reps at right guard. “I just need to continue capitalizing on my reps in practice,” Su’a-Filo told the Chronicle. “I think that when I practice all the positions, then I feel the coaches do a good job of moving me around, getting reps, so in the games I feel comfortable.”
Saturday, 6:30 p.m., no TV
On the Cardinals roster:
Reggie Dunn, WR, Utah
On the Vikings roster:
Matt Asiata, RB, Utah, Snow College and Hunter High
What to watch for: With a deep wide-receiving corps, Dunn's best chance to make the Cardinals' 53-man roster is as a returner. He had a kickoff return for 14 yards and a punt return for three yards last week vs. the Houston Texans. Still, veteran returner Ted Ginn Jr. is listed as the team's starter. ... Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Thursday that Adrian Peterson won't play for the Vikings this week, meaning his backup, Asiata, will earn his second straight start. Last week, Asiata had three carries for 13 yards and a touchdown in a 10-6 win over the Raiders.
Sunday, 2 p.m., TV: NFL Network
On the Broncos roster:
Cody Larsen, DL, Southern Utah and Jordan High
On the 49ers roster:
David Reed, WR, Utah
Will Tukuafu, FB, East High and Oregon
What to watch for: Former Aggie wide receiver Chuck Jacobs tore his ACL in the 49ers' game against the Ravens, and now he is on the injured reserve list. That could lead to more opportunities for Reed, who had a team-high seven targets and three catches for 26 yards.
Sunday, 6 p.m., TV: Fox
On the Chiefs roster:
Alex Smith, QB, Utah
Sean Smith, CB, Utah
Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU (rookie)
On the Panthers roster:
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah, Snow College and Bingham High
What to watch for: The undrafted free agent Sorensen appears poised to make another start for the Chiefs, who are dealing with an ailing secondary. He had one tackle last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, and, according to the Kansas City Star, starting free safety Eric Berry is hurt again, this time with inflammation in an injured heel. “He actually played pretty good against Cincinnati,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid told the Star about Sorensen. “You get an idea of the speed of the game, right? Once you get into game time … each one of these preseason games gets a little faster and faster, and the regular season is faster than that. It was good for him to get in there and get that experience. We need to see more.”
Monday, 6 p.m., TV: ESPN
On the Browns roster:
Paul Kruger, LB, Utah and Timpanogos High
Paul McQuistan, OL, Weber State
On the Redskins roster:
Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU (rookie)
Tevita Stevens, OL, Utah
What to watch for: The player to watch here is Hoffman. He is trying to make the Redskins squad after going undrafted, but he wasn't even targeted during some late-game snaps last week. Without some on-field production, it's highly unlikely the 6-foot-4 Hoffman will make the 53-man roster.