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A Guess At The 53, And Wednesday Before The Broncos

And so we come to the final preseason game, and the cuts that come afterward, and the absolute uncertainty with the Cardinals' 53-man roster. Hardly any of the starters will play in Denver, and the reality is that only a couple of spots are probably still undecided -- and beyond that, there is the knowledge a handful of those 53 spots determined Saturday will change within 24 hours when the Cards make waiver claims and release guys who originally made it.

For purposes of this exercise, it pushes the accuracy of any roster guesstimate even further away from 100 percent, not that that's been possible in years past either. I could see potential waiver claims at WR, OL, DL, ILB, OLB and CB. There are always a couple of spots that I've just missed on any other year anyway. For now, it's about being as right as I can be Saturday. The rest can be sorted out next week.

So with that in mind, as the Cardinals close the preseason for the 17th time in the last 21 seasons against the Broncos, here is an attempt at what the 53-man roster will look like Saturday after the initial cuts:

QB -- Kyler Murray, Brett Hundley (2): There hasn't been a lot of question about the Cardinals keeping two quarterbacks. What is left to be determined -- and something Kliff Kingsbury said remains undecided at this point -- is whether Charles Kanoff or Drew Anderson are wanted for the practice squad.

RB -- David Johnson, Chase Edmonds, T.J. Logan, D.J. Foster (4): Here is one of the spots that could be fluid. Johnson and Edmonds will get the bulk of the work this year. Foster looks solid on special teams, so that'd be the big reason he'd be around. Logan continues to show his speed, and he's worked more on special teams than in the past -- is that enough to keep him around?

WR -- Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Michael Crabtree, KeeSean Johnson, Trent Sherfield, Andy Isabella, Damiere Byrd (7): Byrd has played well has the preseason has gone along and he has the kind of speed they need, especially as Isabella grows into the NFL game. Maybe Pharoh Cooper can make a push in the Broncos game. It'll be intriguing if there is a receiver that becomes available on waivers or free agency after cuts.

TE -- Charles Clay, Maxx Williams, Ricky Seals-Jones (3): Another spot that could change. Given Clay's injury history, the Cards almost have to keep three tight ends. But has Seals-Jones done enough to earn a spot? Darrell Daniels actually has played a lot of special teams. It was assumed Seals-Jones was the perfect fit when Kingsbury arrived, but we'll see how it plays out. Caleb Wilson seems more likely a practice-squad candidate.

OL -- D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh, A.Q. Shipley, J.R. Sweezy, Marcus Gilbert, Mason Cole, Lamont Gaillard, Joshua Miles, Colby Gossett (9): Beyond the top six -- and probably Gaillard -- this position is the most in flux. If the Cardinals don't pick up an offensive lineman off the waiver wire following final cuts, it'll be an upset. I'd think Max Garcia, who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list, will remain there, meaning he won't take up a roster spot, although he'll be out a minimum of the first six weeks.

DL -- Zach Allen, Corey Peters, Rodney Gunter, Clinton McDonald, Bruce Hector, Michael Dogbe, Miles Brown (7): Another position in which the waiver wire could come into play. Brown could end up a practice-squad candidate if the Cards find someone else for the active roster. Dogbe seems to have made enough of a push to stick around.

LB -- Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Haason Reddick, Terrell Suggs, Brooks Reed, Dennis Gardeck, Joe Walker, Ezekiel Turner, Pete Robertson (9): Robertson has had a pretty solid offseason and the Cards need a fourth outside linebacker, but the Cards could be looking both at an outside and inside linebacker on the waiver wire. Walker may end up starting if Reddick can't go Week One, and both Turner and Gardeck have been important on special teams.

CB -- Byron Murphy, Tramaine Brock, Chris Jones, Robert Alford, Brandon Williams (5): It isn't really five, because Alford and his broken leg figure to go to injured reserve sometime next week, but for Alford to be able to return after going on IR, he has to be on the original 53. Williams is in here mainly because of his value on special teams, but it wouldn't be a shock if he was a player who could lose the spot should the Cards find a replacement on waivers or free agency after cuts. His spot might also be determined based on the Broncos game. Of course, Patrick Peterson doesn't count because he will go on the suspended list.

S -- D.J. Swearinger, Budda Baker, Deionte Thompson, Jalen Thompson (4): There's a chance Jonathan Owens, who has worked a little in nickel, could be a fifth safety. The Thompson (fifth-round) twins have shown improvement, although it would've been interesting if Josh Shaw had stayed healthy, especially since Shaw could play corner and safety. That's been an under-the-radar injury that's hurt depth.

Specialists -- K Zane Gonzalez, P Andy Lee, LS Aaron Brewer (3): These have been set all offseason.

Cards run out of tunnel before preseason game 2019