Most decisions are made. A handful can depend on tonight's performance, both for drafting the Raiders race and for their team. And, of course, they can show enough that even if they are cut, another team will collect them from the release wire.
With no established starters playing the game, here are five five players to watch that need to be fought for yet.
Gruden moves the usual left guard to the right for this game, it looks like it's a move to find out if Cooper could be the team's backup quarterback for the first two games of the season. This means Denzelle Good and Jordan Devey are set to take the place of Richie Incognito (2nd stop) and Gabe Jackson (knee injury). If Good, Devi or Rodney Hudson go down, they want to know if Cooper can enter any of the security venues. Devey will move downtown if Hudson needs a replacement. If Cooper can't do it, the next best option will probably be Denver Kirkland.
Sharpe may have already locked the backup swing task. But just in case, he can't afford a slump in this game. After all, if Sharpe makes the team, it means they are giving up Brandon Parker and putting the recent third round pick is no small decision. If Sharpe has a face plant, and especially if Parker makes any headway at all, the Raiders could continue with their last draft pick. Sharp was the fourth round, but keep in mind it was for the previous regime.
Another person threatening to roll the 2018 draft will be Rush. What he puts on the movie will matter even more to other teams than the Raiders. They would like nothing more than to hold Rush and 2018 for the second round of P.J. Hall, but that may not be an option. Now it looks like Rush will have little chance of clearing the bounce to get the practice squad, but if he goes out the way he did in the preseason opener, the rest of the NFL will absolutely notice – if they didn't – and the Raiders will know that they have to keep it on the list or lose it completely.
Kabinda became Gruden's favorite last year as an unprepared rookie, and he was Vontaze Burfict's main middle-order backup team. Whether it remains will depend on whether it has become irreplaceable. His main competition is Mark Lee, who played in the middle but was moved out. Both players are in their second season in defense of Paul Gunter. Lee is a special team that works for him. But it's harder to replace the middle linker at the end of the game. Gunther will need someone who can step in and release the defense if Burffict gets injured or more likely if he is stopped. He stopped pretty much. None of this matters if Cabinda cannot perform at a relatively high level. He missed playing on a 20-yard screen in last week's game, but otherwise he had a great game.
The fast cornerback turned some performances this preseason. He grabbed a long 59-meter bomb in the second week and made a heads-up play to recover a late shot to give the Raiders a comeback win last week. He hangs out with the Raiders practice squad last season because he's a great athlete. He may already have earned a spot back in the Raiders practice squad, but if he plays well again, he may not be able to handle the bounce to get there.