CINCINNATI -- To label a player "on the bubble" at this point in the preseason is a misnomer. Too many things happen for a roster to be judged. You know how quickly things change in the NFL. The truth is, the roster battles are just now heating up, and these next couple of weeks are as good as it gets in the summer.
So, as the Eagles prepare for tonight's game against the Bengals, the bottom third of the 80-man roster, the third-team players you saw on video in the "team" portions of our Training Camp Live! coverage have limited reps to impress and win a roster spot.
The starters are going to play a half against Cincinnati. There is so much those units have to accomplish -- red-zone play for the offense, sustained play against a big-time group of receivers and a strong running game for the defense -- but when the second half rolls around, jobs are won and lost. Here is a look at some of the players hoping to make their move on the depth chart ...
**JAMAR CHANEY, LB
He runs well and he is someone high on the list of young Eagles' linebackers. The fact is, though, that the Eagles have Chaney as the third-team middle linebacker, so how secure is a place on the 53-man roster? Stewart Bradley starts and Omar Gaither is second on the depth chart, so where does that leave Chaney?
He is in the mix. The Eagles will keep six or seven linebackers and that group forms the core of the special teams, so Chaney certainly has a chance to make it. He is a good prospect who has to shine at the line of scrimmage and on special teams to earn his spot on the roster.
HANK BASKETT, WR
A lot of people counted Baskett out when the Eagles signed Kelley Washington, and that is understandable. Washington is in his eighth season and is an accomplished professional. He offers great competition, and if the Eagles keep only five wide receivers, then the logic suggests that either Baskett or Washington won't make the team.
But who knows? The Eagles want to keep the best 53 players and sometimes we alter our idea of how many players at each position. Baskett missed last week's game with a knee injury, but he enjoyed a lights-out week of practice. He truly was sensational. Now it is time to translate that into a game, and Baskett will be extremely focused.
It could, again, come down to special teams. Baskett is good and Washington is a good special teams player. Both are big targets. Both block well. This is a case in which both Baskett and Washington are NFL players competing and bringing out the very best in each other.
MIKE McGLYNN, CENTER
How great is it that McGlynn took advantage of his chance last week and played very well against Jacksonville? it certainly provides terrific comfort that the Eagles saw McGlynn and understand just a bit better what he can do if he is in that situation.
McGlynn starts against Cincinnati, a good defense that is going to blitz here and there in a preseason game. Let's see how he handles that responsibility.
J.J. ARRINGTON, RB
Acquired in a trade a few weeks ago with Denver, Arrington hasn't been healthy enough to show the Eagles what he can do. He has practiced and is ready to go now. So now we see if he can play in this offense. Does he have his quickness? Can he be a third-down back in this offense? Arrington had a serious knee surgery last year and the recovery period is a long one, and in the case of the NFL is one that not many are able to overcome.
Arrington had the ability to catch the football, move the sticks and play well as a utility back before the injury. Is he back all the way?
DANIEL TE'O-NESHEIM, DE
A hard worker who has quickness and the kind of motor you wish every player had, Te'o-Nesheim has seen time in the first nickel and has also been a third-team defensive end. Which is it? Where does he fit into the rotation along the defensive line?
This isn't about making the roster. It would be a major shock if Te'o-Nesheim didn't make this team. He has a lot of skills, and he also has a lot of work ahead of him. This is about figuring out exactly where the young man fits in within Sean McDermott's defense.
CORNELIUS INGRAM, TE
This is an ultra-important period of time for Ingram as he battles Clay Harbor for the backup job behind Brent Celek. Ingram continues to work hard after missing the last two seasons with two knee injuries, so there are eyes all over his every move. Ingram is pushing to regain the explosiveness in that marvelous body of his, and it isn't an easy thing to re-capture.
Harbor has taken more reps and is ahead on the depth chart. But the battle is far from over. Ingram keeps pushing, keeps working hard and keeping his head up. There is no greater attitude on this team. Can he recover enough to win the No. 2 job, or convince the Eagles to keep three tight ends?
MACHO HARRIS, CB
Back after missing time because of a hamstring injury, Harris needs to make his move now. He is behind Joselio Hanson and Dimitri Patterson as well as rookie Trevard Lindley. If the Eagles keep five cornerbacks, where would that leave Harris, who was the team's starting free safety in 2009?
Harris will be an aggressive participant in this game. He is going to challenge the Bengals' wide receivers. This is a very big spot for Harris, the second-year player from Virginia Tech.
The cornerback positions are very much unsettled. Harris has to make his move now.
**MARTELL MALLETT, RB
The rookie from the CFL had a terrific game last Friday, gaining 60 yards and a touchdown in his NFL preseason debut. What does he do for an encore? Mallett has to run hard, catch every pass, and block his rear end off until he hears the whistle blows.
LeSean McCoy, Mike Bell and Eldra Buckley top the depth chart at the moment. Mallett and the previously-mentioned J.J. Arrington have to push and keep doing so to get some 53-man roster consideration.
RICKY SAPP, DE
At a very crowded position, Sapp is trying to gain some notice. It hasn't been easy. While he is quick off the ball and has a long, lean frame, Sapp is dealing with grown men who are freakishly strong and very agile at the offensive tackle position.
The Eagles aren't considering Sapp as a linebacker at this point. To make the roster, or the practice squad, or another team's 53-man roster, Sapp has to show up at the party and make some plays, and then keep making those plays.
Sapp is in a touchy spot. The kid has to jump off the page and make it happen right now.