Final 53-man roster projections for all 32 NFL teams

Keyshawn: Zeke needs to report by Wednesday of Week 1 (0:54)

Keyshawn Johnson discusses when Ezekiel Elliott would need to report by to play in Week 1 and how training under Marshall Faulk can only do so much. (0:54)

The NFL season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 5, when the Chicago Bears play host to the Green Bay Packers. Between now and then, teams need to cut their rosters from 90 players to 53. The cuts must be made by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.

ESPN's NFL Nation projects what those rosters will look like below.

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Buffalo Bills

The Bills will keep both Isaiah McKenzie and Duke Williams after a tightly contested competition for the team's final receiver spot. McKenzie's catch-and-run ability out of the slot may be more valuable than Williams' physical skill set, which is a tad redundant with the emergence of Tommy Sweeney at tight end. Roster projection

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins could see the quarterback job change hands multiple times throughout the season, but both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen should be roster locks. Jake Rudock has shown some flashes as a third quarterback, but he seems set to slide onto the practice squad if he clears waivers. Roster projection

New England Patriots

With Tom Brady looking to make history as the only 42-year-old quarterback to start all 16 regular-season games, keeping two quality players -- Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham -- on the depth chart behind him is smart business. Roster projection

New York Jets

Running back is by far the deepest position on the roster, with five NFL-caliber backs led by Le'Veon Bell. Who will be the odd man out? Roster projection


Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore has carried three quarterbacks once in the previous eight seasons. But doing so this year is a necessity given the Ravens' style of play. Baltimore can run its same offense if Robert Griffin III has to fill in for an injured Lamar Jackson because Trace McSorley is a safety net. Roster projection

Cincinnati Bengals

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins will anchor the defensive line, which might be the deepest positional unit on the team. Roster projection

Cleveland Browns

Garrett Gilbert has performed well enough this preseason to warrant the Browns keeping three quarterbacks. With backup Drew Stanton being 35, Gilbert makes sense for this season, and as a long-term backup possibility to Baker Mayfield. Roster projection

Pittsburgh Steelers

Mason Rudolph should win the No. 2 quarterback job. If the Steelers make that official this week, they can shop Joshua Dobbs or keep him as the No. 3. Devlin Hodges, No. 4 on the roster, has shown a deft passing touch but is likely a practice-squad option. Roster projection


Houston Texans

The Texans may sign or trade for a veteran running back after Lamar Miller tore his left ACL in Houston's third preseason game. In Houston's RB group, only Duke Johnson and Taiwan Jones have played in an NFL game. Roster projection

Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck isn't on the roster at this point of the season for the first time since he was drafted in 2012. The real question mark is at backup, as it wouldn't be surprising if the Colts try to acquire a veteran behind Jacoby Brissett, who went 4-11 as a starter in 2017. Roster projection

Jacksonville Jaguars

The defensive line is the most talented position on the roster, and the addition of Josh Allen (drafted No. 7 overall) gives defensive coordinator Todd Wash a versatile player to move around. Roster projection

Tennessee Titans

Taylor Lewan won't appear on this projection because he is suspended for the first four games of the season. He opens the year on the reserve/suspended list and won't count toward the 53 until Week 5. Roster projection


Denver Broncos

Rookie Drew Lock will likely open the season on injured reserve because of a right thumb injury. He can't throw, practice or make progress on the field to show the Broncos he's a viable No. 2 behind Joe Flacco. They could designate him to return and bring him back for practice. Roster projection

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are living dangerously if they go with fewer than four running backs, but that appears the way they're headed. They've needed the depth in previous years and left themselves short. Damien Williams has yet to prove he can be a featured back over a long season. Roster projection

Los Angeles Chargers

Expect Melvin Gordon to end his holdout in time to be on the Week 1 roster as one of four running backs. Troymaine Pope beats out Detrez Newsome here for the final running back spot. Roster projection

Oakland Raiders

Nathan Peterman could be Derek Carr's backup. Coach Jon Gruden is enticed by the more athletic Peterman's higher ceiling. Should Peterman fall apart in the exhibition finale at Seattle, Mike Glennon would get the gig. Roster projection


Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott will show up before the first game of the regular season while Alfred Morris provides veteran cover at running back. As much as the Cowboys like what Tony Pollard has done in the preseason, he has never been an every-down back. Roster projection

New York Giants

The Giants go heavy at tight end, keeping four. Evan Engram is the pass-catcher. Rhett Ellison is the blocker along with Scott Simonson. And they like Garrett Dickerson. Roster projection

Philadelphia Eagles

Josh McCown will serve as Carson Wentz's backup while Nate Sudfeld recovers from a broken wrist, and possibly beyond. Cody Kessler was in line for that gig before the Eagles successfully lured McCown out of retirement. Now Kessler's spot on the roster is in serious jeopardy. Roster projection

Washington Redskins

Wide receiver is the toughest spot to call. Josh Doctson is, at best, 50-50 to make the roster. They have tried to trade him in the past, but would they really cut him? Roster projection


Chicago Bears

The Bears keep two quarterbacks -- Mitchell Trubisky and Chase Daniel -- on the active roster. Look for veteran Tyler Bray to be signed to the practice squad. Roster projection

Detroit Lions

The defensive line is the deepest area of the team and where some of the hardest cuts will come. The top six seem to be locked in, but after that, any combination of Mitchell Loewen, Kevin Strong, Fred Jones and P.J. Johnson would not be a surprise. Roster projection

Green Bay Packers

Tim Boyle has outplayed DeShone Kizer and should back up Aaron Rodgers. It's possible they could keep three quarterbacks, but that would mean general manager Brian Gutekunst would have to give up on Kizer less than 18 months after he traded for him. Roster projection

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings' lack of receiving depth behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs is concerning. They might look to add a veteran pass-catcher from the crop that gets cut over the weekend, but they'll have at least five on the roster for Week 1. Roster projection


Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones, who boasts the highest average for receiving yards per game in NFL history at 99.9, seeks a sixth straight season of 80-plus catches and 1,400-plus yards. Also part of the six-man receiver group, Calvin Ridley could be in for a massive second year. Roster projection

Carolina Panthers

It's a little bit of a mess behind Cam Newton at quarterback. Kyle Allen and Will Grier have two of the lowest yards-per-attempt averages of any quarterback with at least 25 throws this preseason. Neither has shown the capability to lead should Newton miss time. Roster projection

New Orleans Saints

Deonte Harris, an undrafted rookie from Division II Assumption College, could become the Saints' top kick returner. The electrifying 5-foot-6, 170-pounder looks like he's going to break one every time -- and he did with a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown Saturday night against the Jets. Roster projection

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After surrendering 15 sacks through three preseason games, the Bucs have been searching hard for offensive line help, so there's a good chance the 53-man squad features players who aren't on their current roster. Roster projection


Arizona Cardinals

The late addition of Michael Crabtree changed the dynamics of the Cardinals' receivers room. The final spot, of seven, will likely come down to Damiere Byrd and Pharoh Cooper. Roster projection

Los Angeles Rams

Expect the Rams to carry three backups behind running back Todd Gurley, who practiced on an every-other-day schedule throughout camp. Roster projection

San Francisco 49ers

Would the Niners be open to a trade for one of their backup quarterbacks? Sure. But coach Kyle Shanahan won't just give away an NFL-caliber quarterback, and he believes he has three in Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard. Roster projection

Seattle Seahawks

Paxton Lynch was gaining ground on Geno Smith to be Russell Wilson's backup before he took a nasty hit to the head/neck in the second preseason game. Smith has the edge in experience and Lynch has practice-squad eligibility. Roster projection