NFL players have competed for roster spots during voluntary workouts, organized team activities, minicamp, training camp, and throughout this preseason. So far, the majority of roster spots up for grabs have been won.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick earned the right to start this week, while Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden and St. Louis running back Daryl Richardson solidified starting roles heading into the 2014 season.
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There are still a few spots that could be won or lost headed into the all-important third week of the preseason.
In the fourth preseason game, starters generally don't play, so this is pretty much last call for the candidates to start at quarterback for the Jets, running back for the Steelers and receiver for the Patriots, as well as many other competitions that still haven't been settled.
Check out the top 10 position battles to watch during Week 3 of the preseason:
Geno Smith vs. Mark Sanchez
Smith was given the starting nod by Rex Ryan today, and has a chance to win this job with a strong performance this weekend. Sanchez is still in the mix, but it appears to be Smith’s job to lose.
Jonathan Dwyer vs. Isaac Redman
Le’Veon Bell’s recent injury has reopened this running back competition. Dwyer is coming off a strong performance, but Redman rushed for 147 yards and one touchdown against the Giants last season.
Lamar Miller vs. Daniel Thomas
After two games, neither player has made an impact this preseason. Miller was supposed to be a breakout candidate, but this competition may result in a time share if somebody does not claim this position.
Kenbrell Thompkins vs. Aaron Dobson
Thompkins has gone from undrafted free agent to potential starter. Even if Dobson loses this job, Tom Brady’s ability to spread around the ball will benefit both players this season.
Jon Bostic vs. D.J. Williams
Williams has been out for weeks with a calf injury, so maybe this competition is over already. Bostic has made some big plays, and he could end the competition to replace Brian Urlacher with one more solid performance this week.
Buster Skrine vs. Chris Owens
Whoever wins this job has an important role, opposite the talented Joe Haden. The competition between two has been very close, with Skrine coming on lately. Whoever doesn't start will still play a lot as the third cornerback.
Mason Crosby vs. Giorgio Tavecchio
Crosby's yips in 2012 mean that he's not guaranteed a roster spot. He made three field goals against the Rams last week, but missed three in a row in practice this week. If Crosby fails again, Green Bay could look at free agent kickers.
Jacoby Jones vs. Tandon Doss
Neither player has been impressive – as a receiver – this preseason, and the hunt for Torrey Smith’s complementary receiver continues. Jones is a standout out special teams, but Baltimore needs that production on the line of scrimmage.
Dan Connor vs. Mark Herzlich
Herzlich seemingly had the lead, but Conner has stepped up the past couple of weeks. Conner received the majority of reps in the previous preseason game, but both will play against the Jets this weekend.
Jason Fox vs. Corey Hilliard
Gosder Cherilus signed with Indianapolis this offseason, giving both young players a chance to start. Matthew Stafford sustained major injuries in his first two seasons, and protecting him is the key to Detroit’s success.
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