The Patriots will trim their roster to 53 players Saturday, Aug. 31.
Many players will be fighting for their jobs Thursday night when New England hosts the New York Giants at 7:30 p.m., whether it’s earning a spot with the Patriots or with another team.
We all know Tom Brady will make the roster. Julian Edelman will, too. Here are some players who are right on the bubble and will have to sweat it out in the days leading up to the pivotal one.
Brian Hoyer, QB – It once seemed very likely Hoyer would make the roster, but the emergence of rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham has made Hoyer’s situation a lot more murky. Though it’s still possible Hoyer will earn a spot, there’s a chance coach Bill Belichick will stick with two QBs and let Hoyer go. “Brian’s played a lot of football,” Belichick told reporters after Thursday’s win over the Carolina Panthers. Interpret that as you like, but Stidham entered after Brady and Hoyer didn’t play a single snap.
Braxton Berrios, WR – The University of Miami product has a decent chance to make the roster, but with the additions of reinstated Josh Gordon and rookie N’Keal Harry, and the emergence of Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski, there’s also the possibility that he’ll be the odd man out. Berrios is currently listed behind Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Gordon, and Demaryius Thomas. He’s listed as the third-stringer, along with Maurice Harris and ahead of Harry and Meyers, among others.
Ryan Izzo, TE – Izzo has impressed in small but noticeable ways thus far, and he earned the praise of Belichick after the win over the Panthers. It’s unclear who Belichick envisions starting at tight end, particularly with Ben Watson and Lance Kendricks out in Week 1, but Izzo may be moving up the pecking order after snaring a laser from Brady against the Panthers. The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin has Matt LaCosse, Eric Saubert, and Lance Kendricks making the team.
Derek Rivers, DE – Volin pointed out that Rivers doesn’t play special teams, which could hurt his chances. With Michael Bennett, Deatrich Wise, John Simon and Chase Winovich all in the mix, according to Volin, it will be tough for the Youngstown State product Rivers to solidify his spot.
Keion Crossen, CB – The 2018 seventh-round selection also has a solid chance to make the roster, but as ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted, the Patriots are very deep at cornerback this season. Crossen is currently listed third on the depth chart at left cornerback, behind lock Jason McCourty and near-lock J.C. Jackson. Volin said Crossen’s odds this year don’t look as good as they did last year. This, too, could come down to numbers more so than ability.