Kudos to 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen for noting an interesting line Mike Shanahan said quietly during his post-practice press conference today. That line?
While answering a question about a WR today, Mike Shanahan admitted that he and his staff are trying to come up "with our top 6 receivers."
Ostensibly, this means Shanahan is planning on keeping six receivers on the opening-day roster, which is good news for someone who wasn't going to make the team anyway. So what does this mean for the team's receiver hopefuls going forward? Some quick thoughts on the chances of each making the team below the jump:
Santana Moss: He's on the team regardless.
Joey Galloway: He's also probably on the team regardless, though this certainly cements his case.
Devin Thomas: Thomas has been pretty underwhelming at camp, and is currently listed on the third team on the depth chart, but his special teams ability will probably save him, especially now that there's an extra receiver slot up for grabs. Thomas is currently listed as the team's kickoff returner, after all.
Roydell Williams, Anthony Armstrong and Bobby Wade: I think there's potentially spots available for two of these guys, but not all three. Right now, Williams and Armstrong are the second-team receivers, and Wade isn't even on the depth chart, so I'm guessing Williams and Armstrong make the final roster. However, while Armstrong is impressing in camp, he tends to disappear during games. If that happens again, maybe Williams ends up being the only one to make the team.
Malcolm Kelly: It's just a hunch, but something tells me this sixth spot is for him. The team knows that Kelly hasn't been able to practice because of his hamstring issue, and they know it'd be hard to just cast him aside because he's a) hurt and b) a high second-round pick. Therefore, they're going to keep the five guys who were most deserving anyway and save the spot for Kelly, hoping he gets healthy and can turn it around.
Terrence Austin and Brandon Banks: The alternative to Kelly is that the sixth spot is reserved for one of these guys for a special teams role. Both are in the mix with Thomas for the punt return job, and if either can wrestle it away from him, they'll earn that sixth spot and send Kelly or Armstrong away.
Ultimately, the preseason games will tell a lot here, but the good news for all these guys is that there might be one more opening that they expected.