Evan Silva

Position Battles

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Depth Chart Week Drama

Friday, August 14, 2009

Other ongoing position battles have been affected by injury, boosting their relevance. Here's two of them:

Rams No. 2 Wide Receiver
Keenan Burton vs. Laurent Robinson vs. Ronald Curry

Current Rams Depth Chart

Top receiver Donnie Avery's stress fracture will likely sideline him into Week 1, meaning Burton and Robinson will be St. Louis' starting wideouts for the duration of preseason. Robinson is ahead of Burton on this week's depth chart and was running with the first team when the Rams opened camp. He is the clear leader, although Burton impressed with a 33-yard reception in a recent scrimmage and will get plenty of opportunities going forward. Look for both to play two full quarters or more tonight at the Jets. Robinson and Burton will finally be tested by some real corners (Aaron Ross, Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas) after practicing against Tye Hill and company for the last two weeks.

Panthers No. 2 Wide Receiver
Muhsin Muhammad vs. Dwayne Jarrett

Current Panthers Depth Chart

Steve Smith (shoulder) is already back to practice, but don't look for him to suit up for preseason games anytime soon. He's healthy, but it isn't worth the risk. Jarrett will play extensively Monday night at the Giants. He'll need a monster effort to seriously threaten Muhammad's depth chart status, but it isn't out of the question. Muhammad is 36 and the Panthers have noticed improvement from Jarrett on the practice field.

And to wrap up, here are three updates on quarterback competitions around the league:

Vikings No. 1 Quarterback
Tarvaris Jackson vs. Sage Rosenfels

Current Vikings Depth Chart

Jackson is back from his MCL sprain, but continues to wear a knee brace that limits his mobility. Despite their listing as "co-starters" on the intial camp depth chart, Rosenfels was announced as the first-team quarterback for Friday's exhibition opener versus Kansas City. This is a major opportunity for Rosenfels to separate. While rumors swirl that he's been slow to grasp the offense, Sage has seen far more first-team reps than Jackson and stayed healthy, which is key. He's also coach Brad Childress' best option in the vertical passing game. We recommend to check out the first half of Colts-Vikes tonight.

49ers No. 1 Quarterback
Shaun Hill vs. Alex Smith

49ers have not released a depth chart

Hill will start San Francisco's preseason opener, even though by all accounts he's been outplayed by Smith since spring practices. Smith is sure to start the Niners' second exhibition. The 49ers will probably wait for their third preseason game to announce a Week 1 starter, but at this point Smith has the slight edge. He's been attacking the defense downfield in camp.

Browns No. 1 Quarterback
Brady Quinn vs. Derek Anderson

Current Browns Depth Chart

Anderson's recent scrimmage performance left a lot to be desired. Not only was he picked off at the goal line, Anderson threw the football in NT Shaun Rogers' face after a sack. That isn't the kind of behavior any coach wants from a quarterback. He's listed as a "co-starter" with Quinn on the Browns' current depth chart, but Quinn remains the best bet to win out. Still, it will be interesting to see who Eric Mangini picks to start Saturday's exhibition opener against Green Bay.

Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva

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