Three preseason weeks are in the books. We learned a lot over the weekend, but not every starting job around the league is locked up. With just 10 days remaining before the season opener, there still are a few key hanging questions around the NFL.
What we still don't know:
I've seen a number of outlets report Tuel as the definite starter. That's not the case. Manuel has a reasonable chance to be ready in time, so let's wait until next week to break out those stats about undrafted rookie quarterbacks never starting in Week 1. (OK, it hasn't happened since at least 1950.) Kevin Kolb is out indefinitely with a concussion, so Matt Leinart and Thaddeus Lewis will compete for the No. 3 quarterback job.
New York Jets starting quarterback:Mark Sanchez (shoulder) isn't going to practice all week. That leaves Geno Smith taking all the reps for the first-team offense for a second consecutive week. Coach Rex Ryan doesn't want to name a starter, which shows Sanchez will probably get the job back when healthy.
Oakland Raiders starting quarterback: This wasn't supposed to be an open competition. Matt Flynn's contract and veteran status made him the presumptive starter all summer. General manager Reggie McKenzie said as much. Flynn's rough preseason outings has coach Dennis Allen thinking otherwise. Flynn had nine dropbacks from center against Chicago. They included two interceptions, a sack and fumble.
Denver Broncos starting running back:Coach John Fox supported starting running back Ronnie Hillman in public, and then he took away his first-team practice reps. Rookie Montee Ball, who has looked unremarkable as a runner in the preseason, practiced with the "ones" on Monday. Knowshon Moreno has outplayed both youngsters. The Broncos wanted Ball to take this job, and Hillman to step up from a year ago. It didn't happen in August.
Chip Kelly's offense:The former Oregon coach gave hints about his offense in the preseason, but tight end Brent Celek hinted that Kelly was keeping it a big "reveal" in Week 1 against the Washington Redskins. Mike Shanahan similarly kept most of his Robert Griffin III-led offense under wraps until the regular season started last year. The offenses in Jacksonville and Buffalo also are going to play fast.
San Francisco's starting wide receivers: Well, it won't be A.J. Jenkins. After the trade to acquire Jon Baldwin, the 49ers' top receivers after Anquan Boldin are Marlon Moore, Quinton Patton, Baldwin and Kyle Williams, probably in that order. It looks like Moore will be the Week 1 starter for a Super Bowl contender, which is bizarre.
And a few things we do know
NFL roster cut tracker
Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players. Who's been cut? More ...
- The Cardinals had the worst weekend of any team. They lost four starters to injury, including No. 7 overall pick Jonathan Cooper to a broken leg. It's uncertain if Rashard Mendenhall will be ready for Week 1. The same is true for their starting tight end. Running back Ryan Williams hasn't been healthy enough to make the roster.
- The regular season is now days away, not weeks. We've made it.