JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With just a few more days until the team's preseason finale in Atlanta, several Jaguars players at the bottom of the roster are entering what could be their final week in Jacksonville, and in some cases, their final week in the NFL.
The Jaguars will need to cut their roster from 90 to 53 players by 4 p.m. on September 2. For the players fighting for roster spots, the days ahead will test their merit and fortitude.
Players aren't just competing to make the Jaguars' roster, they are also looking to impress other franchises in case they're released.
It's a whirlwind process, but so is life in the NFL.
"I don't think you can ever be comfortable," veteran wide receiver Arrelious Benn said. "I can only speak for myself, I believe in this business and what we do for a living, you can never be comfortable. I don't care if you're the number one guy on the team. I don't think you should ever be comfortable because anything can happen."
There are always surprise cuts every year. Whether it's a long-tenured veteran who receives his walking papers or a promising rookie who is sent to the waiver wire, few players seem legitimately safe on cut down day.
That outlook is the reason why every player without an assigned role has to excel in practice and in the preseason finale against the Atlanta Falcons.
Much like undrafted free agents, late-round draft picks are vulnerable to potential cuts if they fail to stand out. Linebacker Blair Brown, a fifth-round pick, seems to be among those on the roster bubble.
"I've just got to prove that I can go out there and execute my assignments," Brown said. "Just go out there and take care of business. At least for [strong-side linebacker], executing blockers and setting the edge and just doing my assignments to the best of my ability."
For players like first-year tight end David Grinnage, who signed in the middle of training camp, the next few days are about proving he belongs in the NFL. He is the longest of long shots to make the roster, but a stellar performance against the Falcons could help him land on a team's practice squad.
"One of the main things I have show is I can pick up a playbook and know my plays and know my assignments and go out and execute fast," Grinnage said. "Not second-guessing myself on any of those things."
Grinnage, Brown and several other players will have no time to second guess themselves over the next few days. If they get caught up in the pressures of performing they could stumble and fall off the roster without anywhere else to land.
For some, the game against the Falcons will be a pit stop in the early stages of an NFL career. For others, it will be a dead end for a longtime dream.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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