We're going to be talking a lot about changes and potential changes over the next couple of weeks, so I figured this is a perfect time to talk about the lineup.
The coaches are getting so much justified heat after Sunday's performance that the players are catching a break, but chances are if we're going to see any major shakeups between now and the Week 11 game against the Indianapolis Colts, it'll come on the roster rather than the coaching staff. Let's take a look at a few places where that might occur.
The obvious spot for a change. Jake Matthews has been good-to-great, Andy Levitre and Chris Chester should remain at their guard spots thanks to solid-enough play and a lack of alternatives, but both Mike Person and Ryan Schraeder are guaranteed nothing going forward. Schraeder is, I maintain, a solid right tackle, but he's had a couple of duds in recent weeks, and Long is also solid when healthy. Person's snapping is a persistent trouble spot for the line, and he's doing well enough in pass protection to hold off James Stone and/or Gino Gradkowski forever. I'd have to think the team would turn to Stone before Gradkowski, but I've been wrong before.
There just hasn't been a lot to write home about here. Justin Durant started off the season in strong fashion and is still a capable player, but he's been getting hurt, and nobody else has been inspiring. Paul Worrilow, Brooks Reed, Joplo Bartu, and Nate Stupar all offer plenty against the run and comparatively little in coverage or as pass rushers thus far, and Philip Wheeler is new enough to the team that it's hard to tell what he'll offer over the long haul. It would not stun me to see Wheeler eating up snaps that might have otherwise gone to Bartu and Stupar, and it would be only a mild surprise to see him assuming a starting role.
If William Moore is going to be in-and-out of the lineup or miss significant time, Kemal Ishmael could very easily be replaced by Robenson Therezie. I do believe the rookie is a future starting option at one of the two safety spots, and with Ishmael being very good at one thing (run support) and not quite as good at another (coverage), Therezie could get run. That'll especially be true if the Colts torch the secondary early on.
My guess is that you're not going to see anything jaw-dropping, when all is said and done, as you guessed from this list. I do think you'll see Wheeler take on a more prominent role, and Schraeder may give way to Long if he comes out of the bye looking shaky. For better or for worse, though, the lineup is mostly set.
What's your best guess at any changes we might see?