EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Thursday’s preseason finale against the Giants was a yawner for many Patriots veterans, but the game served as a last call for fringe players trying to make a final impression.
Receiver Darnell Jenkins fell into the latter category.
“I did what I could do, my teammates did what they had to do, and it’s out of our hands now,” Jenkins said.
What Jenkins did on Thursday night was lead his team with five catches for 93 yards, including a 66-yard fourth-quarter touchdown reception. After the game, he said, "The decision is with the organization and we’ll have to go from there."
The end of Thursday’s preseason game began a period of uncertainty for almost two dozen players, with Saturday’s final cut down to 53 players looming.
For these players "on the bubble," where they sleep a week from now is uncertain.
A lucky few may find a spot on the active roster in Foxborough, or on the team’s practice squad. Others may find themselves swept away on the waiver wire, landing in another NFL city. And for some, Thursday’s preseason game may be their last taste of professional football.
“I’m pretty nervous,” Jenkins said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Because of injury, it was Jenkins’ second time -- and his last chance -- this preseason to show up on game film that not only the Patriots but other NFL teams will watch.
“Now I’m looking forward to being somewhere else,” Jenkins said, before catching himself. “Staying here,” he continued, with a smile.
With his four-game audition in New England over, Jenkins’ slip reflects the tension every player on the bubble is feeling as the clock ticks towards Saturday’s deadline.
“Saturday, I’m going to sit by the phone. I’m probably not going to sleep,” Jenkins said. “That’s how nervous I am.”