It wasn’t easy, but we fit Patriots utility-man Gunner Olszewski onto New England’s 53-man roster.
Find out how in our final roster projection before Saturday’s cutdown date:
Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Jarrett Stidham
Everyone makes it. Hooray! The Patriots could still trade or cut Hoyer, but we think he’s safe after sitting out of Thursday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants.
RUNNING BACK (5)
Brandon Bolden, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Sony Michel, James White
The only guy left off is Nick Brossette, who carried the load all preseason but didn’t stand out.
WIDE RECEIVER (8)
Phillip Dorsett, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Matthew Slater, Demaryius Thomas
PUP: Cameron Meredith
We don’t think Meyers and Olszewski are entirely safe. Meyers is more likely to make the team since he’s stood out since Day 1 of training camp. We like Olszewski to return punts and kicks. Dorsett, Edelman, Gordon, Harry and Slater are locks. Thomas looked great in his first preseason action of the summer.
TIGHT END (3)
FB James Develin, Ryan Izzo, Matt LaCosse
Suspended: Lance Kendricks, Ben Watson
We thought about keeping just one tight end (Izzo) and then seeing who hit the waiver wire. We’ll play it safe and go with two, plus Develin. LaCosse hasn’t played since Week 1 of the preseason, but we’ll keep him on anyway.
OFFENSIVE LINE (7)
LT Isaiah Wynn, LG Joe Thuney, C Ted Karras, RG Shaq Mason, RT Marcus Cannon, Korey Cunningham, Jermaine Eluemunor
NFI: Yodny Cajuste
IR: David Andrews, Hjalte Froholdt (?)
Andrews is dealing with a blood clot in his lungs, while Froholdt got injured in Thursday night’s game. We’re thinking the Patriots could redshirt Froholdt and open up a spot on the roster by putting him on injured reserve with the ol’ “Foxboro Flu.” We’ll cheat and put both players on IR. It helps that the Patriots just acquired Cunningham and Eluemunor as depth via trade.
DEFENSIVE LINE (5)
Michael Bennett, Adam Butler, Byron Cowart, Lawrence Guy, Danny Shelton
We think Deatrich Wise Jr. could be a trade candidate. He was one of the tenured veterans to play against the Giants and isn’t a great system fit in the Patriots’ updated defense. We really like nose tackle David Parry to back up Shelton, but we also think the Patriots could sneak him onto their practice squad to serve as depth.
Ja’Whaun Bentley, Shilique Calhoun, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Elandon Roberts, John Simon, Kyle Van Noy, Chase Winovich
Calhoun was a tough inclusion, but he was receiving first-team reps early in training camp before getting injured. We chose to keep Roberts over Calvin Munson. If Roberts gets traded, then we’d probably replace him with Munson or Parry. Derek Rivers has been injured since Week 2. Perhaps the Patriots could trade him?
Keion Crossen, Stephon Gilmore, JC Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams
Crossen makes the team over Duke Dawson despite some tough moments during the final preseason game.
Terrence Brooks, Patrick Chung, Nate Ebner, Duron Harmon, Devin McCourty
All five of these players sat out Thursday night. That’s usually a sign they’re making the team.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
K Stephen Gostkowski, P Jake Bailey, LS Joe Cardona
Bailey already beat out Ryan Allen.
Last one in: Olszewski
Last one out: Parry
Ideal practice squad: FB/TE Andrew Beck, FB Jakob Johnson, WR Braxton Berrios, TE Eric Saubert, C Tyler Gauthier, OT Dan Skipper, DT David Parry, OLB Derek Rivers, LB Calvin Munson, CB Duke Dawson, S Obi Melifonwu
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images