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NFL report: Wilson fighting for practice squad spot
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Tyler Wilson passes against the New York Jets in the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tony Tribble)
Tyler Wilson’s career has not gone the way many expected following Arkansas’ victory in the 2012 Cotton Bowl.
After leading the Razorbacks to a 4-8 record in his senior year, Wilson was picked by the Oakland Raiders in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft and spent the majority of his rookie season on the Raiders’ practice squad.
The Tennessee Titans added Wilson to their roster late in the season, but released him earlier this week. Now he continues to survive in the NFL as one of five quarterbacks on the Cincinnati Bengals’ roster.
With backups Jason Campbell and A.J. McCarron battling injuries, the Bengals signed Wilson and one week later, he was playing against the Jets in a Bengals uniform.
Before being knocked out of the game with an apparent head injury, Wilson took 18 snaps and completed 7-of-13 passes for 39 yards. The stats don’t jump off the page, but they were better than Matt Scott’s, who is competing with Wilson for a spot on the practice squad.
Scott completed only 8-of-22 passes for 54 yards and an interception. Despite the performance, ESPN’s Bengals beat writer Coley Harvey projects Scott to make the practice squad instead of Wilson.
Here is a look at the other former Arkansas players in NFL camps and whether or not ESPN’s beat writers project them to make the 53-man roster.
Joe Adams – Houston Texans
In his first preseason game with the Texans, Adams returned three kickoffs for 66 yards. He also returned one punt for seven yards, but only after he initially muffed the punt, a problem he has experienced since joining the NFL.
Against the Falcons last week, he did not have a reception and fielded just one punt, which he did not return.
ESPN’s Texans beat writer Tania Ganguli does not project Adams to make the 53-man roster.
Alvin Bailey – Seattle Seahawks
Bailey has been practicing at both the right and left tackle spots, with starting left tackle Russell Okung battling injuries.
ESPN’s Seahawks beat writer projects Bailey to make the 53-man roster.
Jake Bequette – New England Patriots
According to Boston.com, Bequette performed well in 1-on-1 drills, going 9-6 during camp. That has not translated to stats in preseason games, however, as he had no tackles and one pass defended in the Patriots’ game against the Eagles, in which he played 34 snaps.
There are questions about how well Bequette would fit in New England’s 3-4 defense and ESPN’s Patriots beat writer does not project him to make the 53-man roster.
Knile Davis – Kansas City Chiefs
Against the Panthers, Davis accounted for 78 all-purpose yards (nine carries for 30 yards, three receptions for 26 yards, one kickoff return for 22 yards), giving him 144 all-purpose yards this preseason.
He has averaged 5.3 yards per carry and has caught all five passes thrown his direction.
ESPN’s Chiefs beat writer Adam Teicher projects Davis to make the 53-man roster.
Jerry Franklin – Chicago Bears
Franklin has made only two tackles for the Bears this preseason, but when Chicago cut Eric Weems, it opened a special teams spot that Franklin could fill.
However, ESPN’s Bears beat writer Michael C. Wright does not project him to make the 53-man roster.
Nate Garner – Miami Dolphins
Garner has been the Dolphins’ all-purpose offensive lineman during camp, seeing action at center, guard and tackle. He has mainly practiced with the second-team offense, but has had a few snaps with the first team.
ESPN’s Dolphins beat writer James Walker projects him to make the 53-man roster.
Brett Goode – Green Bay Packers
Goode has been the Packers’ long snapper since 2008 and ESPN’s Packers beat writer Rob Demovsky projects him to make the 53-man roster again in 2014.
Chris Gragg – Buffalo Bills
Against the Steelers, Gragg caught one pass for 10 yards, giving him 34 yards on five receptions this preseason.
ESPN’s Bills beat writer Mike Rodak projects him to make Buffalo’s 53-man roster largely because of the health of tight end Tony Moeaki, who is ahead of Gragg on the depth chart.
Cobi Hamilton – Cincinnati Bengals
In the Bengals’ preseason game against the Jets, Hamilton played 50 snaps, which was the most on the team. While he was targeted 13 times, he made only two receptions for 11 yards.
Harvey projects Hamilton to make Cincinnati’s practice squad for the second consecutive year.
Javontee Herndon – San Diego Chargers
Herndon earned a spot on the Chargers’ second-team offense thanks to a solid camp. During the preseason games, he has caught three passes for 31 yards, including two passes for 22 yards against the Seahawks last week.
Despite the performance, ESPN’s Chargers’ beat writer Eric D. Williams projects him to make San Diego’s practice squad, although he said Herndon “continues to push” for a roster spot.
Alonzo Highsmith – Kansas City Chiefs
Highsmith has not registered any stats this preseason and Teicher does not project him to make the 53-man roster.
Peyton Hillis – New York Giants
Since gaining 36 yards on seven carries against the Bills in the Hall of Fame game to open up the preseason, Hillis has battled a foot and ankle injury. However, he is still the No. 2 running back on the depth chart.
ESPN’s Giants beat writer Dan Graziano projects him to make the 53-man roster.
Zach Hocker – Washington Redskins
Hocker is in a position battle with veteran Kai Forbath, who has made 87.5 percent of field goals in his career. During the preseason, the rookie has performed better than the veteran, making both of his field goals (27 and 39 yards) and all three extra points (which were 33-yarders as part of the NFL’s preseason experiment).
Because of this, ESPN’s Redskins beat writer John Keim projects Hocker to make the 53-man roster over Forbath.
Julian Horton – Tennessee Titans
Horton has not made any receptions this preseason and ESPN’s Titans beat writer Paul Kuharsky does not project him to make the 53-man roster.
Dennis Johnson – free agent
A couple days after accounting for only 22 yards (one carry for minus-two yards, one reception for five yards, one kickoff return for 19 yards) against the Cardinals, Johnson was released by the Texans. He has not signed with another team.
Ryan Mallett – New England Patriots
Entering the final season of his contract, Mallett has used this preseason to showcase his talents. After struggling in his first game, he performed much better against the Eagles in the Patriots’ second preseason game.
He completed 7-of-11 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for nine yards and a touchdown.
Reiss projects him to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster.
Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders
Against the Lions, McFadden carried the ball eight times for 27 yards and a touchdown, giving him 50 yards on nine carries this preseason. That is an average 5.6 yards per carry.
ESPN’s Raiders beat writer Paul Gutierrez projects him to make the 53-man roster.
Jason Peters – Philadelphia Eagles
While Peters was flagged for holding in the Eagles’ game against the Bears, running back LeSean McCoy has been very high on the six-time Pro Bowl left tackle.
McCoy told the Philadelphia Daily News that Peters is “the best player on this team, for sure, hands down. There’s nothing he can’t do. If you need him to play tight end, he can play tight end.”
Obviously, he is projected to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster.
Kiero Small – Seattle Seahawks
Small had one carry for five yards in the Seahawks preseason game against the Chargers last week.
As of now, Blount does not project him to make the 53-man roster, but being the only true fullback on the team, he could possibly make the cut. If he doesn’t, Blount believes Small will likely end up on the practice squad.
Chris Smith – Jacksonville Jaguars
Smith played just over half of the Jaguars’ defensive snaps against the Bears, but did not have any tackles and registered only one quarterback hit. Through two games, he has two tackles, including one sack.
The Jaguars have also used Smith as a defensive tackle in some packages.
ESPN’s Jaguars beat writer Michael DiRocco projects him to make the 53-man roster.
Travis Swanson – Detroit Lions
During camp, Swanson has struggled with the quarterback-center exchange, but continues to improve. Against the Raiders last week, he played 42 offensive snaps and 10 special teams snaps.
While he will not see much action outside of special teams in the regular season, ESPN’s Lions beat writer Michael Rothstein projects Swanson to make the 53-man roster.
D.J. Williams – New England Patriots
Williams has been battling a right leg injury and missed Monday’s practice. He has not registered any stats this preseason.
Reiss does not project him to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster, but could be kept on an “emergency list” if New England suffers injuries and needs a tight end.
George Wilson – Tennessee Titans
Despite not registering any stats in Tennessee’s first two preseason games, Kuharsky projects him to make the 53-man roster.
Ronnie Wingo, Jr. – Buffalo Bills
Wingo gained 25 yards on five carries for the Bills against the Steelers, giving him 40 yards on eight carries this preseason. That is an average of five yards per carry.
Despite the high average, Rodak does not project him to make the Bills’ 53-man roster.
Jarius Wright – Minnesota Vikings
Against the Cardinals last week, Wright caught two passes for 24 yards. He also has one carry for 17 yards this preseason.
Wright suffered an ankle injury during Minnesota’s practice Monday, but ESPN’s Vikings beat writer Ben Goessling projects him to make the 53-man roster.