Bronson Kaufusi
(AP Photo/Jim McIsaac)

The early going in the New York Jets Week 4 preseason matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles paints a much clearer 53-man roster picture.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Pay close attention. You just may solve the puzzle.

What unfolds early in the Week 4 preseason game usually unveils an interesting story in the land of professional football (the NFL, that is), and the New York Jets are no different.

Elijah McGuire on the outs

One of the stories of camp, Trenton Cannon, received the start on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. Le’Veon Bell, Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell, who is the key here, all on the sidelines not dressed signals trouble for Elijah McGuire.

If Adam Gase keeps just four, a very talented McGuire seems to be the odd-man-out. Now, the question surrounds Powell; is Powell in street clothes for Week 4 purely due to injury (neck) or due to the idea he’s completely safe in making the squad? If it’s the latter, the Cannon vs. McGuire battle is very real.

The only shot McGuire has, if Powell is kept, is if Gase somehow keeps five backs. If so, it will be tough to keep seven wide receivers. Perhaps he’d feel comfortable enough in Montgomery playing wideout in a pinch.

The offensive line is settled

In street clothes, Thursday night, was the entire starting offensive line plus Tom Compton and Jonotthan Harrison. This means Gase is looking at Compton as the No. 6 lineman who can do it all (remember, he’s played both guard and tackle in the past) and Harrison as the backup center.

Battling it out for the No. 8 and 9 spots are guard Alex Lewis and tackle Chuma Edoga. Ben Braden can probably be considered as the 10th man at the moment, but keeping 10 is a tough act in the world of 53.

Lewis, Edoga, Braden and the rest of the crew are battling for two or three spots (even one, possibly).

The edge remains wide open

As if we already didn’t know, Gregg Williams’s edge spot remains incredibly open.

The only player in street clothes for the Philly game is Jordan Jenkins. (Henry Anderson, while he plays edge at times, is still considered an interior lineman on the depth chart.)

Frankie Luvu, Tarell Basham, Harvey Langi, Jachai Polite and every edge rusher on the roster is dressed and in action. The mad rotation continues (including Bronson Kaufusi and undrafted rookie Kyle Phillips).

Meet Ryan Griffin, the starting tight end

Standing alongside Chris Herndon on the sideline is Ryan Griffin, the Jets starting tight end for the first four games of the season.

Keeping Griffin off the field while Trevon Wesco, Eric Tomlinson and Daniel Brown see action signals Gase’s choice atop the depth chart.

Since Gase doesn’t carry a fullback, five tight ends could possibly be kept, meaning all in question are safe. Obviously, due to the fact Herndon won’t count against the team’s official 53-man over the first four weeks, Griffin, Wesco, Brown and Tomlinson will serve at the position.

First-half standouts

Rookie Blake Cashman has been an absolute animal. He’s tallied four tackles including one for a loss while putting an exclamation point on his secure roster spot.

Marcus Cooper Sr. is opening eyes as well. His first-quarter interception intended for a 10-yard comeback helped his cause at a position many deem completely up for grabs after the first three spots.

Taylor Bertolet is suffering through a rough one. He’s already missed two 50-plus yard field goals. He did hit a chipshot, but the two misses linger in the minds of everybody involved.

The aforementioned Kyle Phillips is enjoying a solid night with three tackles and a sack. Defensive tackle Trevon Sanders is also holding up extremely nicely in the middle, gobbling up blockers against the run.

The Jets currently hold a 3-0 halftime lead over the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]