My attempt to update the current state of the roster battle before the first preseason game continues, this time with the defensive linemen. This group is about as “set” as any of the groups other than QB. There’s very little left to figure out, baring another injury.
Locks: Brandon Mebane, Jesse Williams, Red Bryant, Jordan Hill, Chris Clemons*, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett
Chris Clemons still isn’t practicing, and likely wont be for some time now. It remains to be seen if the team is willing to use a roster spot on him for the first few weeks if he wont be able to play, or if he’s placed on the PUP list and lost for the first 8 weeks. If they do keep him on the roster, then this position group is pretty well set as long as there isn’t an injury.
Near Locks: Bensen Mayowa, Tony McDaniel, Jaye Howard
Mayowa is the big surprise of camp. He’s the #1 Leo at the moment with both Avril and Clemons on the shelf with injuries. He’s been much better than expected, and will push for playing time even after the other two return.
Fighting For That Last Roster Spot: Mike Morgan, Mickael Brooks, Clinton McDonald
Mike Morgan moved to DE after feeling the roster crunch at SAM LB. Now he’s been passed by Mayowa, and hoping that Clemons’ knee is worse than reported just to try and make the team. The team might still move him back to LB if there’s a preseason injury there.
The odds are certainly stacked again McDonald because of his cap number. I have a tough time seeing the team keeping him over the younger, cheaper players on the line, especially since he has yet to separate himself from the pack in terms of talent or performance.