With the NFL Preseason now complete and the regular season set to begin on Thursday night, we now have a full look at just what former Minnesota players will be on NFL active 53-man rosters, who will need to work their way up from the practice squad, and who is on the outside looking for someone to give them a job. It was a bit disapointed to see several former Gophers get the axe last Saturday, including some who had been on rosters in the past. But there is nothing certain in the NFL. Here is how the former Gophers fared.
ON ACTIVE 53-MAN NFL ROSTERS:
MarQueis Gray—Tight End—Miami Dolphins
Gray will begin the season as the third tight end for the Dolphins. He probably will not see a ton of offensive snaps, but will be a focal player on special teams with a chance to pick up offensive plays if an injury occurs to either of the top Dolphins Tight ends.
Week 1 vs Tennessee Titans
Maxx Williams— Tight End—Baltimore Ravens
Williams will be on the Ravens this season and with the foot injury to first round pick Hayden Hurst, Maxx has a chance to see playing time early. Its still unclear exactly who will start for the Ravens at tight end, but Maxx is one of three on the roster who could see significant action in the first few weeks
Week 1 vs Buffalo Bills
Briean Boddy-Calhoun—Cornerback—Cleveland Browns
Boddy-Calhoun appears to be the starting nickel corner for the Browns and will see plenty of playing time to make some plays in the Browns secondary.
Week 1 vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Tramaine Brock—Defensive Back—Denver Broncos
Brock is a backup corner for the Broncos and most likely will not see much playing time. But he is on the roster.
Week 1 vs Seattle Seahawks
Eric Murray—Cornerback—Kansas City Chiefs
Murray is currently the backup safety behind Eric Berry. Berry has been banged up in the preseason and the opportunity is there for Murray to see playing time. He also will see special teams reps most likely.
Week 1 @ Los Angeles Chargers
Damien Wilson—Linebacker—Dallas Cowboys
Wilson has seen some starting reps in the preseason but appears to be the backup to either Sean Lee or rookie Leighton Vander Esch. Wilson will see playing time for sure however.
Week 1 @ Carolina Panthers
Marcus Sherels—Cornerback/Returner—Minnesota Vikings
Sherels once again appeared to be on the roster bubble, but with the retirement of Terrance Newman and the lack of other return options who really impressed in camp, Sherels stays. He will be the main punt returner for the Vikings and will see corner back duty in only mop-up duty.
Week 1 vs San Francisco 49ers
De’Vondre Campbell—Linebacker—Atlanta Falcons
Campbell is the starting strongside linebacker for the Falcons and has a chance as a Pro Bowl type season this fall. The Falcons are a definite Super Bowl contender from the NFC.
Week 1 @ Philadelphia Eagles (Thursday)
ON NFL PRACTICE SQUAD ROSTERS:
Steven Richardson-Defensive Tackle—Los Angeles Chargers
Richardson was looking really good in Chargers camp and was a bit of a surprise cut when the final rosters were announced on Saturday. In fact, Chargers fans were actually quite irate that he did not end up on the active roster. Seriously. Check here, here, and more here. Luckily for Chargers fans, Richardson must not have been attractive enough to anyone else as he cleared waivers and was signed to the Chargers practice squad on Sunday.
Nate Wozniak—Offensive Tackle—New Orleans Saints
Wozniak was a long shot to make the Saints active roster so it was no real surprise when he got cut on Saturday. But he got the good news that the Saints see enough potential in his move to offensive tackle that he was signed to their practice squad on Sunday.
CURRENTLY UNEMPLOYED... FOR NOW
Myrick was cut from the Jaguars after making the roster as a rookie a year ago. He was not added to the Jags practice squad but apparently was one of four cornerbacks to work out for the Houston Texans on Monday. We shall see if they decide to pick him up, or if he finds his way to a practice squad slot soon
Travis spend 2017 as an undrafted free agent on the New England Patriots practice squad, but he was cut once again after camp with the Patriots on Saturday. I thought they may have wanted to bring him back to the practice squad once again, but that does not appear to be the case.
Santoso did just about everything he could during camp to try and win a job, but unfortunately the Detroit Lions stuck with their two veterans at the kicker and punter spots and cut Santoso. Hopefully he did enough to catch on with someone else later in the season, but this one is feeling a lot like the Peter Mortell situation from a few years ago.
Celestin led the Falcons in tackles in the preseason and was on the bubble for a roster spot, but was cut on Saturday. The surprising thing was the Falcons not adding him to thier practice squad, but they went another way. So for the moment Celestin is a free agent. However, he apparently will have a workout/visit with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday and if it does well could be reunited with former teammate Briean Boddy-Calhoun.
KJ Maye—Wide Receiver
Maye was a late roster invite with the Patriots after Eric Decker retired. Maye never really had a chance to make the team. He spent a bit of time on the Patriots practice squad a season ago, but as of now they don’t seem to want him back and he is a current free agent.
Kobe McCrary—Fullback—Minnesota Vikings
McCrary was a late add to the Vikings preseason roster after a few injuries and also never had a real chance to make the final roster. He currently is a free agent.
We shall see if there are any changes after Week 1 of the NFL season next week.