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NFL Preseason, Chiefs vs. Packers: Five Bubble Players To Watch

The Kansas City Chiefs will meet the Green Bay Packers this evening at Arrowhead Stadium.

There are plenty of players that need to step it up. I count 40 bubble players on the Chiefs.

Here are five of those bubble players that need solid performances tonight against the Packers.

1. RB Jackie Battle

He's come very close to locking up a roster spot. In the past two weeks, his main competition has been unavailable. RB Kestahn Moore was released and RB Javarris Williams didn't play last week. One of those guys appear headed for the practice squad.

Battle meanwhile has turned in two consecutive solid performances. He's as close to a bubble player lock as you can get and ideally has another productive performance to solidify his position as the third running back.

2. WR Jeremy Horne

He may be the only undrafted free agent that gets a spot on the roster.

Last week, he had several solid special teams plays including downing a punt inside the ten. He shows a lot of effort which is something the Chiefs love.

He's also a deep threat...even if he hasn't caught a deep pass. He's got some wheels and Brodie Croyle has attempted a couple of the few long passes to Horne in the Chiefs preseason. He's not an offensive threat in 2010 -- special teams is where he'll make his mark -- but he'll need to show some offensive skill in order to be a long-term fit on the team.

3. QB Tyler Palko

The Chiefs like to have a development quarterback on the roster (like Matt Gutierrez last year).

Palko hasn't had a very good camp and I can't figure out why the Chiefs aren't bringing in someone else. Maybe it's because they need the practice against left-handed quarterbacks. I'm not sure.

But on Saturday there will be quite a few players released and quarterbacks will be included in that group. Palko needs to show something in his extended duty this evening in order to secure his spot on the team. I can easily see the Chiefs going with a different long-term option there because I just haven't seen much out of Palko.

4. DE Alex Magee

He's a 2009 third round pick so he may be safe but if we're going by performance he's definitely on the roster bubble.

He needs a big game because it seems he's going up against Shaun Smith for a roster spot. The first three defensive ends -- Tyson Jackson, Glenn Dorsey and Wallace Gilberry -- are all safe. The Chiefs may keep four-to-five defensive ends. If it's only four, then it's Magee vs. Smith.

I'm taking Smith every time...unless Magee steps it up and at least shows what he's capable of. He's still young so part of the fascination with him is based on potential.

5. CB/S Donald Washington

Another 2009 draft pick. Washington is a fourth rounder but he's also switched positions and is currently the third string safety.

Clearly he doesn't have a huge future at safety with Kendrick Lewis and Jon McGraw ahead of him.

I'm not quite sure where he fits. This game -- he should play a lot -- could go a long way to determining his role. It'll probably be special teams but you can't keep a fourth round pick on the roster for too long because he's just a special teamer.

I'm not sure where Washington fits. He'll have to show us tonight.