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Bills-Redskins: Bubble players whose roster spot hinges on tonight’s game

The third preseason game is enormous for these Bills players. This list goes in descending order, from most likely to make the team to least likely.

Walt Powell

My #SummerOfWaltPowell hashtag hasn’t really caught on anywhere, but I’ll still run with it until the start of the regular season. Powell has had an exceptionally productive summer, from the first few training camp practices to the preseason opener against Colts and even last week against the Giants. I’d be stunned if he’s on the outside looking in right now, however, one more strong effort, and the former Murray State Racer (awesome name, right?) is a 53-man roster lock.

Bryson Albright

Rumblings staffer Sean Murphy wrote a comprehensive analytical piece on Albright earlier this week. It’s worth your time. The 6’5” / 235-poundish edge-defender has played with the second and third teams thus far in the preseason, and while his play has been unspectacular, he’s hardly looked completely out of place, both as a pass-rusher and run-stopper. With Manny Lawson’s availability still up in the air, I think Albright could be one of the final players on the opening-day roster if he makes a few plays this evening.

Duke Williams

Color me surprised with how Williams has come along over the past few weeks. After a variety of camp reports that he was being outplayed by Jonathan Meeks at St. John Fisher, Duke has rapidly developed in both preseason games, with a few pass breakups and handful of loud, popping hits. Given Rex’s affinity for safeties, if Williams continues his consistent efforts, he’ll be one of the four or maybe five safeties kept on the Bills roster.

Dez Lewis

After being called out by Rex Ryan, Lewis is clearly on the bubble. However, I took Rex’s comment as more of a motivation push for a player he knows has pretty considerable upside. After a fluke collision with Aaron Williams, Lewis missed out on an opportunity to play in the first preseason out but will get plenty of burn tonight with Marquise Goodwin out of the lineup.

Jarrett Boykin

Sure, we know about Boykin’s history with Tyrod Taylor, which probably has helped from a connection perspective with the Bills quarterback in July and August. Then again, outside of his touchdown against the Colts in the first preseason game, we haven’t really heard a peep out of the former Virginia Tech standout on the field. He needs a big effort tonight to shoot up the receiver depth chart.

Blake Annen

After OTAs and minicamp, Annen was lauded as a potential dark-horse to breakout during training camp and throughout the preseason. Thus far, it hasn’t happened. At all. While he looks the part of the athletic H-back Greg Roman adores, Annen hasn’t done anything to really challenge Chris Gragg as the club’s primary No. 2 tight end. Right now, Annen looks like a prime cut candidate.