Some preseason battles remain wide open with two preseason games remaining. Here's how some positions are shaping up for the Cincinnati Bengals:
The Bengals kept six last year, with one inactive on game days, and are most likely to keep that same number this year. There's a slim possibility they keep seven receivers.
Erickson has made a strong case to be included on the 53-man roster. How can the team cut its best kickoff returner when nobody else has stepped up? Erickson has spent this preseason proving that he's not only a kick returner but a capable receiver as well.
Core, who is currently hurt, plays a similar role to Malone, but it would be very surprising if they tried to put him on the practice squad and risked another team claiming him.
The Bengals kept eight defensive linemen last season and will probably keep eight or nine this year.
Fourth-rounder Ryan Glasgow would be a shocking cut. Sims and Billings will rotate at nose tackle, and Clarke has been a very capable rotational man. Johnson doesn't look as fast as he used to, but he's been around the team for so long it's hard to imagine he wouldn't be playing in Game 1 in some capacity, likely as a defensive end in the base 4-3 set.
The Bengals' traded a conditional draft pick for Smith in the spring, and he's spent training camp proving he should be on a roster somewhere. Smith has seven quarterback hits in two preseason games, albeit against backups.
Smith, a four-year veteran, never broke out in Jacksonville, but it's very clear that he has potential. If anyone has earned a roster spot based solely on his preseason play, it's probably him. Do the Bengals keep him or go with whom they know in 32-year-old Gilberry?
The Bengals brought Gilberry back midway through last season after he was cut by the Lions. Gilberry was hurt in Detroit prior to being cut and also missed three games in Cincinnati due to injury last year.
He has played only 12 defensive snaps through two games in the preseason, which is a bit puzzling.
It looks like there's not much room for Williams, who has been a little-used defensive tackle for two seasons.
The Bengals started with eight offensive linemen last season, and will likely keep between seven and nine this year.
Smith looks like he's been moved from starting right guard to backup right tackle. With his experience in the Bengals' system and the lack of capable tackles, it would be a surprise to see them part ways. Dielman probably makes the team as a fifth-round pick.
Winston looks like he has lost a step. But beyond the starters and Smith, who provides depth at tackle? It would be surprising if the team gave up on 2016 fifth-rounder Westerman, but he could be a practice squad candidate.