Judgment day has arrived for the New England Patriots.
The Patriots, like every other NFL team, must whittle their roster from 80 players to 53 by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday — a process that already is underway.
As news of roster cuts begins to roll in, here’s a look a the biggest cutdown-day questions facing each Patriots position group:
Beyond the obvious question of whether Cam Newton or Mac Jones will start in Week 1, the Patriots also need to decide whether to also keep third-stringer Brian Hoyer on their 53-man roster. Cutting Hoyer and carrying him on the practice squad is one potential option.
Damien Harris, James White, Rhamondre Stevenson and J.J. Taylor all should be safe, but what will the Patriots do with Brandon Bolden? The veteran is an accomplished special teamer and a popular figure in the locker room, but he didn’t play in the preseason. Also, will Jakob Johnson make the 53? The Patriots love their fullbacks, but they rarely utilized one during their two-tight end heyday in the early 2010s.
Will the Patriots keep three tight ends (Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith and Devin Asiasi) or four? Matt LaCosse got off to a strong start in camp but hasn’t been seen since being knocked out of the first Patriots-Eagles joint practice.
Will the injured N’Keal Harry stick on the roster? Did Kristian Wilkerson, who flashed at the beginning and end of training camp, do enough to win a spot? Could Gunner Olszewski be a surprise cut after his inauspicious end to the preseason? Will the Patriots look to add to this group via trade or waiver claim?
Who will win the final O-line spot? Tackle Yodny Cajuste and center/guard James Ferentz appeared to be the leading candidates, but will both be left off after the Patriots reportedly acquired Yasir Durant from the Kansas City Chiefs?
Who will emerge from one of the Patriots’ tightest position battles: Carl Davis, Akeem Spence or Montravius Adams? Spence and Adams have been rumored as trade candidates, which could mean Davis is safe. And is Henry Anderson a potential surprise cut after he played deep into the fourth quarter Sunday night?
Harvey Langi and 2020 third-round draft pick Anfernee Jennings are notable bubble players in this group. Chase Winovich, who played well this preseason after coming off the physically unable to perform list, could be trade bait.
Will the Patriots remove Stephon Gilmore from PUP? If they don’t, he’d be forced to sit out the first six games. That decision will have ramifications for borderline roster hopefuls like Joejuan Williams and D’Angelo Ross. Does Williams, a 2019 second-round pick, stick around after the Patriots acquired Shaun Wade last week?
No real questions here. The Patriots already informed Adrian Colbert of his release, and Devin McCourty, Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips and Cody Davis all are roster locks.
Did the big-legged but inconsistent Quinn Nordin show enough this summer to beat out veteran kicker Nick Folk?
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