As the Steelers head into their final preseason game, there are plenty of roster spots yet to be won. There are also a number of veterans who find themselves on the bubble with this team, a testament to how deep Pittsburgh is this season.
Here's a look at the veteran bubble guys:
Keiwan Ratliff, CB - Ratliff was brought in as Deshea Townsend insurance and just in case rookies Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett weren't ready to contribute. None of those things have happened. It may come down to keeping Ratliff, Ryan Mundy and/or Anthony Madison. Madison is a stellar special teams player.
Travis Kirschke, DL - Kirschke has been a nice find for the Steelers, helping them to a pair of Super Bowl wins. But he's also 34 and has a cranky back. If the Steelers are going to cut a lineman to keep both Ziggy Hood and Sonny Harris, it's likely to be Kirschke, not Nick Eason.
Jeremy Parquet/Jason Capizzi, OT - I know he's a favorite because he's a local guy, but Capizzi is fighting the odds. The team likes Tony Hills' feet better. Darnell Stapleton going on IR helps, though. It could come down to who plays guard better and Parquet has more experience there.
Shaun McDonald, WR - I like what McDonald brings to the table, but the team could decide that if it's going to keep Stefan Logan, it may only need four full-time receivers.
Patrick Bailey, LB - The 2008 team rookie of the year is on the bubble even though he's a very good special teams player. But all of their other backup linebackers – Keyaron Fox, Andre Frazier, Arnold Harrison and Donovan Woods, are solid special teamers as well. The difference is that those other players can actually help out on defense as well. Bailey would be overmatched at this point. He's still better than Bruce Davis, though. This is where Lawrence Timmons' injury could come into play, with the team perhaps keeping an extra linebacker if it feels Timmons may miss the first couple of games.