Thursday night's game against the Buffalo Bills may not have featured any of the Detroit Lions' big names, but there were plenty of players out there fighting for their careers. Here's who helped and hurt their chances for making a roster spot.
TJ Jones - Jones wasn't spectacular, but he had an impressive catch-and-run for a 64-yard touchdown and a decent punt return. That's more than I can say for Jeremy Ross, who had two drops, one resulting in a pick-six.
Kyle Van Noy - Just a few weeks ago, Van Noy was buried as a candidate for the short-term IR list. After taking a week off, Van Noy came back with a vengence. He tallied a few quarterback hurries, batted down a pass and added two tackles.
Kerry Hyder - Though I still think Hyder is a long shot to make the final roster, he certainly drew a lot of attention Friday night. Hyder recovered three (!!!) fumbles on the night to go along with his one tackle. There's something to be said about a guy who finds himself in the right place at the right time.
Jermelle Cudjo - After a very tough preseason, Cudjo finished strongly. He was credited with two QB hits and took down Matt Simms for one of the Lions' three sacks on the evening. It may be a case of too-little-too-late for Cudjo, but he certainly made the Lions' decision tougher.
The Lions offensive line depth - Detroit could do absolutely nothing on the ground all night, and the Lions' offensive line was a big part of that. Neither Zach Zenner nor George Winn were able to distance themselves from each other because both were consistently getting met in the backfield. The Lions ran for just 46 yards on 26 carries. Let's hope the starting offensive line stays healthy.
Jeremy Ross - Ross wasn't helped out by poor throws from Kellen Moore, but he still dropped a couple passes and failed to make any positive impact on the field tonight. Ross was targeted seven times but only managed three catches for seven yards. He has to be considered on the bubble, especially after Jones' impressive day.
Nevin Lawson - Lawson had a very up-and-down game. He did break up two passes and managed four tackles. However, his night was more defined by the two pass interference penalties called on him. It wasn't a horrible night, but penalties are a good way to see your way to the bench.
Tim Wright and Joseph Fauria - What was billed as an epic tight end battle turned out to be a dud. Wright was in early in the game, but never saw a pass thrown his way and didn't see the field much at all after that. Fauria seemed to get a lot more playing time, but he didn't make much of an impact with just one catch for five yards. At this point, it's a toss-up for who will make the presumed final tight end roster spot.