Buffalo Bills 53-man roster projection, NFL preseason Week 4

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

NFL preseason is quickly drawing to a close, and this will be our second-to-last 53-man roster projection of the 2013 season as a result.

Tomorrow night, the Buffalo Bills will take on the Detroit Lions in each team's preseason finale - and then they'll trim their roster to 53 players on Saturday, by the NFL's 6PM ET deadline. The end of the exhibition season is upon us, and the Bills unfortunately have more questions today than they started with back in July.

This is my latest 53-man roster projection; I'll have one last version bright and early Friday morning, just for the heck of it. The 53 names are in the depth chart below, and there's an FAQ of sorts immediately after. Where did I err? Where do you agree? Let's hear it.

Pos. Starter Backup Reserve
WR Stevie Johnson Robert Woods Brad Smith
LT Cordy Glenn Thomas Welch
LG Colin Brown
C Eric Wood Doug Legursky
RG Kraig Urbik
RT Erik Pears Sam Young
TE Scott Chandler Lee Smith Chris Gragg
WR T.J. Graham Marquise Goodwin Marcus Easley
QB EJ Manuel Jeff Tuel Matt Leinart
Kevin Kolb
FB Frank Summers
RB C.J. Spiller Fred Jackson Tashard Choice
RE Mario Williams Jerry Hughes Jamie Blatnick
DT Kyle Williams Jay Ross
NT Marcell Dareus Alan Branch
DE Alex Carrington
WLB Nigel Bradham Bryan Scott
MLB Kiko Alonso Arthur Moats
SLB Manny Lawson Marcus Dowtin
RCB Stephon Gilmore Crezdon Butler Justin Rogers
FS Jairus Byrd Duke Williams
SS Aaron Williams Da'Norris Searcy Jonathan Meeks
LCB Leodis McKelvin Ron Brooks Nickell Robey
K Dustin Hopkins
P Shawn Powell
LS Garrison Sanborn

Four quarterbacks? Kolb is in the midst of a concussion protocol, and while he may be out for a while (and "a while" seems to be the optimistic angle), there have not yet been any clear indications that the team will remove him from the roster, though that's likely if Kolb doesn't respond well to tests this week. The Bills wouldn't keep four quarterbacks all year long, but given their current predicament, it's very possible they'll do so early on in the season - but that exception may only apply to Kolb. If he lands on IR, they'll roll with three and stash an extra body at, say, defensive tackle.

Nos. 5, 6 receivers. The quarterback situation helps Smith's cause, as he'll be the team's emergency option in Week 1 if Manuel can't go (and, really, he's not a bad receiver, either). Out of the team's young receivers, Easley has done more than other names like Chris Hogan at this point, but that door remains wide open. Once the quarterback problem settles down, if the team wants to swap Smith for a guy like Hogan, they'll probably be able to do so with relative ease.

Defensive line. This may be the area of the team that gets shorted due to numbers-related circumstances at quarterback and cornerback. Five linemen probably won't be enough to get through the whole season, but there are enough worthwhile players at the position that the team may feel comfortable trimming down to five and trying to re-sign one of Corbin Bryant, Torell Troup or Jarron Gilbert, hoping at least one of the three will still be available in a week or two.

Defensive backfield. If you were concerned about keeping a whopping 11 defensive backs before, you're probably less so now that Gilmore is sidelined as long as two months. Buffalo needs five options at that position with Gilmore out. At safety, Byrd's still re-assimilating to the team, and it's not clear if the team will throw him back into the fire immediately.

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