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How to watch former Ohio State stars in Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Starters should see more snaps, and bubble guys will need to prove a point as Buckeyes prep for the regular season.

NFL: Carolina Panthers-Training Camp Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 of the NFL preseason is about as close to “regular football” as you’re going to get ahead of the season opener. Most teams will utilize a good portion of their first-team talent, with the second- and third-team guys getting most of their reps in the final game next week.

There aren’t too many Buckeyes considered “on the bubble” but there are a few guys fighting for an active roster spot. Undrafted free agent, rookie Cameron Johnston is hoping to at least snag a practice squad spot with the Eagles, Tyvis Powell is vying for a spot on the final roster of his third NFL team, and Doran Grant is battling for a job in Jacksonville without much practice squad eligibility left.

Also, a former Ohio State captain, defensive back Christian Bryant will get one more shot at an NFL career with the Cleveland Browns. The Ohio team signed the Buckeye earlier in the week -- marking the only former Scarlet and Gray player suiting up for an NFL team in the Buckeye state.

Here’s how to catch all the former Ohio State stars in action this week(end):

Thursday, Aug. 24

Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
7:00 pm (on NFLN) Miami Dolphins Raekwon McMillan [IR] Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins, Cam Johnston (UDFA)
7:30 pm Carolina Panthers Kurt Coleman, Andrew Norwell, Curtis Samuel Jacksonville Jaguars Michael Bennett, Doran Grant

Things to watch for Thursday night

The Eagles are hosting the Dolphins this week, and after a week of joint practice, are facing off Thursday. Cameron Johnston had Philly beat writers actually talking about punters after his Week 2 performance, and with the team’s current starter closing in on the end of his career, Johnston could still find a longterm spot with the Eagles.

In the second game of the night, Curtis Samuel might finally make his NFL debut. He’s been sidelined since the first day of Panthers’ training camp, but started taking more reps in practice over the last week and could finally get some action against the Jags. Jacksonville CB Doran Grant is still clamoring for a roster spot, and he only has two games left to make his point.

Friday, Aug. 25

Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
7:00 pm New England Patriots Nate Ebner Detroit Lions Taylor Decker [IR]
8:00 pm (on CBS) Kansas City Chiefs - Seattle Seahawks Nick Vannett

Things to watch for Friday night

The only real draw Friday is seeing whether Nick Vannett gets the start again, and whether or not he’ll actually be targeted at all. The Buckeye tight end hasn’t seen much action on offense despite taking a considerable number of snaps. It’s no surprise that one of Vannett’s selling points was his blocking ability, but the guy has good hands and could catch the ball if given the chance.

Saturday, Aug. 26

Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
7:00 pm Arizona Cardinal - Atlanta Falcons -
7:00 pm New York Jets Darron Lee, Jalin Marshall New York Giants Eli Apple, Curtis Grant, Mike Nugent
7:00 pm Buffalo Bills Corey Brown, Adolphus Washington Batlimore Ravens -
7:30 pm Cleveland Browns Christian Bryant Tampa Bay Buccaneers -
7:30 pm Indianapolis Colts Johnathan Hankins, Malik Hooker, Jack Mewhort, Tyvis Powell, John Simon Pittsburgh Steelers Cam Heyward, Ryan Shazier
8:00 pm (on CBS) Los Angeles Chargers Joey Bosa, Cardale Jones, Joshua Perry Los Angeles Rams Jake McQuaide
8:00 pm Oakland Raiders Gareon Conley Dallas Cowboys Noah Brown, Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith
8:00 pm Houston Texans Braxton Miller New Orleans Saints Vonn Bell, Ted Ginn Jr., Marshon Lattimore, Michael Thomas
9:00 pm Green Bay Packers Corey Linsley Denver Broncos Jeff Heuerman, Bradley Roby

Things to watch for Saturday night

Two big games for Buckeyes on Saturday, including the Jets v. Giants and Colts v. Steelers. All four squads are loaded with former Ohio State talent, and some are fighting for roster spots. Additionally, DB Christian Bryant will make his debut for the Browns on Saturday evening.

Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t made an appearance thus far in the preseason, but that’s all about to change. Head coach Jason Garrett confirmed that the team was planning on letting Zeke get a few carries Saturday (about 8-12 snaps) and that they’re preparing him for Week 1. Elliott appealed his NFL suspension, and the appeal is expected to go in front of league-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson on Aug. 29. Until then, how many games Zeke will suit up for in 2017 is still a question mark.

Several former Ohio State stars have been battling injuries this week and could miss the Week 3 contest, including: Eli Apple (ankle), Braxton Miller (ankle), and Ryan Shazier (hamstring). The Colts have been slow to let Jack Mewhort get back to field after finishing last season injured, but that is likely out of an abundance of caution to have him ready to go in Week 1 of the regular season.

Sunday, Aug. 27

Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
1:00 pm (on FOX) Chicago Bears - Tennessee Titans -
4:30 pm (on FOX) Cincinnati Bengals - Washington Redskins Terrelle Pryor Sr.
8:00 pm (on NBC) San Francisco 49ers Carlos Hyde Minnesota Vikings Alex Boone, Pat Elflein, Reid Fragel

Things to watch for Sunday

Two games into the preseason and Terrelle Pryor Sr. hasn’t quite shown the kind of damage he can do for Washington. He’s likely to see more snaps this Sunday than he has to date for his new team, but there isn’t too much concern about his production heading into the regular season. Washington saw several of their offensive playmakers leave in the offseason, so Pryor can expect to be targeted often.

In the late game, rookie Pat Elflein is still looking for his spot on the offensive line, taking snaps both at center and guard. Despite looking good snapping the ball, there was some early concern that he’d need a louder voice to be heard on the field. Still, where he lines up on Sunday could be a good indicator of his spot come the start of the season.