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9hESPN.com staff

Thursday NFL preview: Final auditions for Tim Tebow, other bubble players

NFL Nation previews what to watch for around the league as preseason comes to a close Thursday, including the battle to be the Eagles' No. 3 quarterback.

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USA TODAY Sports
17hMel Kiper Jr. and Mike Sando

NFL 25 Under 25 Rankings: Khalil Mack is No. 1

Oakland linebacker Khalil Mack leads Mel Kiper Jr.'s and Mike Sando's annual list of the NFL's top 25 players under the age of 25. Where does second-year stud Odell Beckham Jr. fall on the list?

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Peyton explains the real reason he wears a glove on his throwing hand (1:17)
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20h

J.J. Watt is football's real-life action hero

Defensive linemen normally don't make TV cameos, appear in movies or get their own commercials. Except now, there's Watt -- selected as the best player in the NFL and the league's biggest reality TV star.

AP Photo/Ed Zurga
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Why an undefeated preseason matters for the Chiefs

Kansas City is 3-0 this preseason heading into Thursday night's game at St. Louis. Teams that finish the preseason without a loss generally don't fare much better than those that go winless. But the Chiefs are a different matter.

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Cam's little bro following in his shoes (0:19)
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ESPN Illustration
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#NFLRANK: The top 100 players

Who is the best player in the NFL: J.J. Watt or Aaron Rodgers? Our 70-plus voters settled that and plenty of other debates in this year's ranking of the top 100 players.

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Peyton Manning on why he wears a glove

Said the Broncos QB: "Due to my neck surgeries and loss of sensation in my fingers, I've had to wear a glove. My grip is not as good as it used to be, so it's just a part of the adjustment."

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Still time to sign up for Fantasy Football

The last set of preseason games kick off Thursday, and the actual NFL season begins in one week. That means there's still time to sign up for fantasy football and draft a winning squad. Play for free

Watt's acting career started with a burrito

One line sparked J.J. Watt's enterance into show business. The DE told Ray Rice in 2012: "I've eaten burritos bigger than you." Future movie star?

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Final preseason auditions on tap

Many top starters won't be playing in Thursday's final preseason games, meaning players on the bubble for roster spots, such as Tim Tebow, will get plenty of chances to stick with their teams. Thursday preview

AP Photo/Michael Perez

Nick Wagoner ESPN Staff Writer 

Rams coach Jeff Fisher on why it's important to have annual walkthrough at Scott Air Force Base: "As we told our guys, on Sundays we defend our goal line and day after day after day, they defend our country."

Paul Kuharsky ESPN Staff Writer 

Titans NT Sammie Hill had surgery to clean up his right knee after suffering a injury to it late last week. Same knee he hurt early in offseason. Al Woods is going to be starting in the middle of the defensive line at least for awhile.

Only 8 more days until NFL games start

Have you drafted your fantasy football team yet? It's not too late to get started. Play for free

Jeremy Fowler ESPN Senior NFL Writer 

The Cleveland Browns, who could be in market for RB, had not reached out to Fred Jackson as of Wednesday night. The long-time Bills tailback was released Monday.

Nick Wagoner ESPN Staff Writer 

Rams have arrived for walk through, greeting and sizing up the competition before walk through at Scott Air Force base.

Jeremy Fowler ESPN Senior NFL Writer 

Former Browns defensive lineman Phil Taylor is visiting the Steelers, according to ESPN's Field Yates. With Taylor, it's all about his health. He's had a long road back from a severe knee injury. The former first rounder can still play - if healthy.

Nick Wagoner ESPN Staff Writer 

Rams are at Scott Air Force Base tonight for walk through with the airmen and air women. They'll "practice" against this group selected by base leadership for about an hour.

Falcons hope Freeman returns in Week 1

RB Devonta Freeman is dealing with a hamstring injury, which has put his availability for Week 1 in jeopardy. But if and when he returns, he'll play a key role in the running game, says Dan Graziano. "[The Falcons] want to see Freeman as a big part of that offense"

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Dolpins to proceed carefully with Parker

ESPN's Dan Graziano: "[The Dolphins] believe DeVante Parker is on track to play in Week 1. The question is, 'In what capacity. How much will he play?'" The Dolphins certainly don't want to put him at risk to re-injure his foot.

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Falcons hope Freeman returns in Week 1

Falcons RB Devonta Freeman is dealing with a hamstring injury, which has put his availability for Week 1 in jeopardy. But if and when he returns, he'll play a key role in the running game, says Dan Graziano. "[The Falcons] want to see Freeman as a big part of that offense"

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New York Giants @nygiants

Odell's jersey is ready for New England!Wheels up to Foxboro for the Patriots! #GiantsPride #NYGvsNE

espn @espn

No, Vince Wilfork is not modeling the @houstontexans' new alternate uniforms. [Credit: The Houston Texans]

Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer 

Aaron Rodgers usually comes up with interesting attire for the annual "Welcome Back" luncheon. This year he wore a Blue Angles pilot suit. John Kuhn also dressed in pilot gear. (Photos via Packers.com)

Peterson leads NFL's most overrated

Aaron Schatz concedes that, even after taking a year off, Adrian Peterson is a top 10 RB. But is he one of a dozen top players overall, or even the best at his position? "That's really, really unlikely," Schatz writes. Overrated/underrated (Insider)

Tom Dahlin/Getty Images

Cam Newton's fantasy stock down

As Field Yates explains: "A lot of it has to do with the fact that Kelvin Benjamin, his No. 1 weapon in the passing game, is out for the year with that torn ACL."

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Brady case not about footballs anymore

"For the NFL, this case is not about deflated footballs anymore. It is 100% about the authority of commissioner Roger Goodell to impose and arbitrate discipline," said ESPN's Dan Graziano.

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Garcon: RG III great 'on any team he goes to'

Redskins WR Pierre Garcon told Sirius XM NFL Radio: "He definitely can be a great player in this league. But Robert [Griffin III] has been a great player himself, already. So he'll definitely be a great player on any team that he goes to and help them out."

Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

Watch: Peyton Manning on NFL live

The Broncos QB is a guest on NFL Live. Manning completed 14 of 21 passes for 124 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception in Saturday's preseason game against the 49ers. Watch on ESPN2/WatchESPN

AP Photo/David Zalubowski