In one week, all 32 NFL teams will shave the 90-man rosters to 75 players. On August 31, teams have to cut it down to 53 players a week before the regular season begins.
The St. Louis Rams, for the most part, have their starters picked, and the depth chart behind them has more than a few locks. It doesn't leave much room for the dozens of players in camp this month fighting to make the final cut. But there are a small handful of players among that group who are going to make things especially tough for Jeff Fisher and his staff this year.
(Almost all of these players are practice squad eligible, so we'll note if they are not).
Benny Cunningham, RB
With Isaiah Pead's sagging fortunes and an invisible Terrance Ganaway, the undrafted rookie from Middle Tennessee State seized the opportunity. He has 11 preseason carries, second-most of any running back, for a total of 39 yards. His 3.5 yards per attempt is not a positive, especially since he's been working against backups. He had six carries against Green Bay last week for 19 yards; 17 of those yards came on one run. Cunningham has been outstanding on the practice field (who hasn't), and he contributes on special teams.
Raymond Radway, WR
Only Chris Givens has more preseason receiving yards than Radway. Both players have a touchdown. Preseason stats are mostly worthless, but it's notable that he's getting so many looks on the field. He's also getting a look at kick returner. Never ever forget the caveat that special teams play is a fringe player's surest ticket to a roster spot.
Andrew Helmick, WR
He's back now, and tearing up the practice fields in Earth City. The Lindenwood product had a nice 30-yard reception last week, and should get more preseason looks based on his work in camp. He returned kicks in college, and with an open competition for that job, he might get a shot with the Rams.
Gerald Rivers, DE
I'll be honest. I had to look this guy up during Saturday's game. The Mississippi product filled in for Eugene Sims this week, harassing Green Bay's starters and recording two tackles. Defensive line spots are mostly spoken for, but Rivers is making a strong case to get a ninth spot among that group.
Cody Davis, S
Do you ever get tired of me talking about Cody Davis? Well, get used to it. The safety jobs are wide open right now, especially with Darian Stewart battling his hamstring, again. Davis would have had a pick last week if not for a bogus pass interference call. He's fast, shows some nice ball skills and is tied for the lead in stops with five.
Ray-Ray Armstrong, LB
I don't think you can really call Armstrong a bubble player anymore. He's had an outstanding run through the preseason. Tied for second on the team with six tackles, he's also made five stops and hurried opposing quarterbacks twice. Now that Jo-Lonn Dunbar will spend the first month of the season learning about the importance of reading product labels, Armstrong ought to be a sure thing.
Brandon Washington, OL
Washington's case is a little different than the players listed above. He's had the second most reps of any lineman, at right guard and right tackle, but hasn't separated himself from the pack. Right now, it looks like the Rams will start the season with a familiar crop of offensive linemen, the same faces you saw last year with the exception of Barrett Jones and Jake Long.
Who else has stood out through preseason and training camp?