Former Cal linebacker Jordan Kunsazyk had a big game in the Washington Football Team’s final preseason game on Saturday, but was it good enough for him to make the team’s regular-season roster?
NFL teams must reduce their roster to 53 players by Tuesday afternoon, so a lot of players will be released in the next two days, as teams have up to 80 players at the moment.
Kunaszyk was in the starting lineup for Saturday’s preseason game against the Baltimore Raven, and he collected a game-high 10 tackles, including six solo stops.
He was on the field for 51 defensive plays and 10 special-teams plays so head coach Ron Rivera, an All-America linebacker at Cal, got a good look at Kunaszyk.
He is listed a third-team outside linebacker on the Washington depth chart so he probably was not in line to make the 53-man roster heading into Saturday's game. It should be noted that a lot of Kunaszyk’s tackles Saturday were against backup players, so it remains uncertain whether that performance will earn him a spot on the regular-season roster.
Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Carolina Panthers in 2019, Kunaszyk played in nine regular-season games for the Panthers that season, but was released by the Panthers just before the start of the 2020 season. He signed with the Washington practice squad and was elevated to the active roster in November and played in six games.
How other former Cal players did in Saturday’s NFL preseason games:
Seahawks offensive lineman Jake Curhan: Curhan will be sitting on pins and needles because he is right on the border of making the 53-man roster or not making it.
Curhan started all three preseason games, including Saturday’s game against the Chargers, as all of Seattle’s starting offensive linemen were held out of the preseason.
Curhan has been impressive in the preseason, and Bob Condotta, who covers the Seahawks for the Seattle Times, had this to say about Curhan Saturday night:
OFFENSIVE LINE: Undrafted rookie free agent Jake Curhan again got the start at right tackle with the team giving Brandon Shell and Cedric Ogbuehi the night off . Maybe even more intriguing, Curhan then shifted to play some left tackle in the second half. Curhan had the team’s highest offensive grade last week from Pro Football Focus and appears to have a legit shot to make the 53-man roster.
Curhan played 47 plays on offense and five plays on special teams, and has been used at a variety of positions. The Seahawks might keep him as versatile player they can plug into situations when needed.
Chargers tight end Stephen Anderson: Anderson was in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against Seattle, although he played only 10 offensive plays and five special-teams plays. He caught the only pass thrown in his direction for a 10-yard gain.
He played in all 16 games for the Chargers last year, and started three of them, but he has a little less than a 50-50 chance of making this year’s 53-man roster.
If the Chargers keep three tight ends – which is the most likely scenario -- he probably won’t make the team. If they keep four, he probably will.
Texans wide receiver Jordan Veasy: Veasy had a team high three receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown in Houston’s game against the Buccaneers on Saturday, but he remains a long shot to make the 53-man roster.
All three of his receptions came in the second half on passes from former Stanford quarterback Davis Mills.
Veasy signed with the Texans on July 29 and has yet to make a regular-season NFL roster.
Ravens offensive lineman Patrick Mekari: Mekari’s versatility gives him a good chance to make Baltimore’s 53-man roster again. He played tackle at Cal and was the Ravens’ starting center much of last season.
He was not in the starting lineup for Baltimore final preseason game against Washington on Saturday, but he played 25 plays at center and five on special teams. He has played all along the offensive line in preseason, and he is valuable as a player the Ravens can plug into any offensive line spot when needed.
Mekari won’t be a starter to begin the season, but it would be a surprise if he is not on the regular-season roster.
Bills quarterback Davis Webb: Webb has played pretty well in the preseason when given the opportunity, but he probably has less than a 50-50 chance of making the 53-man roster.
The Buffalo News projected that the Bills will only keep two quarterbacks – Josh Allen and Mitch Trubisky – and even if Buffalo keeps three quarterbacks, it will be a close decision as to whether the Bills keep rookie Jake Fromm or Davis.
Davis was on the field for just eight plays in Saturday’s final preseason game against the Packers and completed 3 of 6 passes for 23 yards. Fromm played 26 plays and was 10-for-16 for 87 yards.
The Bills already know what Webb can do so his reduced playing time is not necessarily an indication of Buffalo’s impression of Webb.
He has been on the active roster for a few regular-season NFL games in his career, but has never played in a regular-season game. If Webb does not make the 53-man roster, he is likely to offered a spot on the practice squad again.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers did not play in Saturday’s game against the Bills and did not play in any preseason games. That is typical for Rodgers, who will be Green Bay’s starting quarterback in the opener.
Rams wide receiver DeSean Jackson: Jackson did not play in the Rams’ final preseason game against the Broncos, but that is not surprising, given his age (34), experience (13 NFL seasons) and recent history of injuries.
Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen: Allen did not play in Saturday’s game against the Seahawks, but he will be a regular when the regular season gets underway.
Cover photo of Jordan Kunaszyk by Paul Rutherford, USA TODAY Sports
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