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Gibson, Shuler among former Wildcats on the roster bubble after one week of preseason action, but it’s all about TOUCHDOWN TREVOR

Injuries have plagued a number of Northwestern alumni searching for their place in the NFL.

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Denver Broncos v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With the first week of the NFL preseason finished and the second week upon us, we take a look at the former Wildcats battling for roster spots and one battling for a starting job. (We’ll let you guess who.)

DE Deonte Gibson, Detroit Lions

Gibson inked a deal with Detroit as an undrafted free agent back in April and is currently listed on the Lions’ roster, though he didn’t play in their preseason opener due to a knee injury suffered during camp:

ESPN’s Michael Rothstein predicted a parting of ways between Gibson and Detroit in his latest roster projection for the Lions.

WR Miles Shuler, Carolina Panthers

Shuler signed with Carolina in May and has showed flashes of potential during camp action:

In Carolina’s only preseason game, a 22-19 loss to Baltimore, Shuler failed to reel in his only target and was not called upon in the return game; special teams is a phase Shuler stood out in during his time at Northwestern and likely something that would help him make the Carolina roster.

WR Kain Colter, Buffalo Bills

Colter, a wide receiver convert, signed with the Bills at the beginning of August after failing to stick in Los Angeles with the Rams. He was targeted three times in Buffalo’s preseason opening loss to the Colts, but didn’t register a catch in the game.

Colter and former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones seem to be establishing a rapport, though:

WR Kyle Prater, New Orleans Saints

Prater signed with New Orleans in February with an outsider’s chance of making the roster but gained traction in camp by way of a few nice catches:

Unfortunately, Prater went down with an ankle injury before preseason action kicked off and was waived by New Orleans on August 3. The next day, after clearing waivers, the Saints placed Prater on injured reserve, which will keep him tethered to the team for the time being.

WR Rashad Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Since going undrafted in 2014, Lawrence has spent time with Washington, Chicago and Jacksonville. He was signed to the Jaguars’ practice squad last September and was promoted to the active roster in December.

Lawrence has been hobbled by a hamstring injury since August 3 and was a scratch for Jacksonville’s first preseason game against the Jets. He still stands a chance of being on the roster come Week 1, though, given his history with the team.

DE Dean Lowry, Green Bay Packers

These final three guys all have much clearer paths to an official NFL roster spot than the five above them. Lowry, a fourth-round selection by Green Bay, has garnered high praise from head coach Mike McCarthy for his play during camp:

Lowry parlayed his impressive camp into a start in the Packers’ preseason opener:

Lowry did not register a tackle in the game. Green Bay runs a base 3-4 defense, which will be an adjustment for Lowry, who predominately operated in the 4-3 at Northwestern. But with starting defensive end Mike Pennel suspended for the first four games of the season, the opportunity is there for Lowry to seize a legitimate role along the Green Bay defensive line as early as his rookie year. Here’s more on how he fits with the Packers.

FB Dan Vitale, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A sixth-round pick in 2016 by Tampa Bay, Vitale, like Lowry, is virtually a lock for a roster spot this season. However, it’s still worth noting that Vitale has been awesome throughout Bucs’ camp and is gaining serious traction in large part due to his versatility as an offensive weapon.

Vitale hauled in one catch for five yards in Tampa’s preseason-opening loss to Philadelphia. He’s also kept a rookie diary during training camp.

QB Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos

Guys, this is real.

Siemian rolled into Week 1 of the preseason on the heels of a phenomenal training camp and with deserved momentum after being named the Broncos’ ‘co-starting’ quarterback last week. Mark Sanchez started Denver’s preseason opener against Chicago, but the two went essentially tit-for-tat: Sanchez completed 10 of 13 passes for 99 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while Siemian completed 7 of 12 passes for 88 yards. One of those completions, we should mention, was pretty spectacular:

Touchdown Trev actually failed to toss a TD in the game but refrained from turning the ball over, too. Rookie first-round selection Paxton Lynch also played well, completing 6 of 7 passes for 74 yards, but all signs point to the QB competition in Denver boiling down to Sanchez and Siemian.

And Siemian may be beginning to pull away...