Saints vs Dolphins: Miami position battles against New Orleans

Miami Dolphins safety Kelcie McCray. - Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL preseason ends for the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints tonight. That means, players trying to claim a position on the depth chart could make or break themselves with their performance tonight. What position battles are still open for the Dolphins? Let's take a look.

Jobs are on the line tonight, literally. Tonight is the last chance for bubble players to play their way onto the roster and a last chance for players on the roster to boost their regular season playing time, showing the coaches what they can do as the Miami Dolphin host the New Orleans Saints in the final preseason game for both franchises. A little later today we will take a look at some of the players needing to have a big day to claim their roster spot, but for now, let's take a look at the position battles that are still open.

Tight end

Just as it was last week, the tight end position is wide open for everyone involved. The loss of Dustin Keller two weeks ago means Charles Clay, Dion Sims, Michael Egnew, and Kyle Miller all could still make a claim for major playing time this season. Clay has the early advantage, but if any of the other three have big games, they could make a move to at least be the second tight end in two tight end sets, if not take over the top spot.

Wide receiver

The top three wide receivers are set in stone, with Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, and Brandon Gibson claiming those slots. Position four has been written on the tablet, but the engraving hasn't started yet as Rishard Matthews seems destined to take a hold of that slot. Which means the team has one, maybe two, positions remaining for Chad Bumphis, Marvin McNutt, Brian Tyms, and Keenan Davis to try to claim. And, where does Marcus Thigpen fit into this plan?

Linebackers

The Miami linebackers are deep, with nine players still on the roster. While Philip Wheeler, Dannell Ellerbe, and Koa Misi are locked in, but behind them, anyone really could still earn a spot. Does the special teams play of Austin Spitler or Jason Trusnik earn them a spot? Has Jonathan Freeny, who has had some great practices this year, and is finding his stride on special teams, done enough to claim a position? Will the team give up on Josh Kaddu, Lee Robinson, or Jelani Jenkins, all of whom have shown flashes of potential at some point this preseason? This may be the best position battle of the night.

Safety

Chris Clemons, Reshad Jones, and Jimmy Wilson are on the roster. Kelcie McCray appears to be the fourth safety, but Don Jones, Keelan Johnson, and Jordan Kovacs could work their way onto the roster with strong performances during the game. Will it happen?

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