It was clear at pregame of their preseason opener against the Rams that Jon Gruden was set on resting his starters. Johnathan Hankins, Justin Ellis, and Josh Mauro were listed atop the first depth chart put out last week, but they were in street clothes.
The only projected starter dressed was Clelin Ferrell. There were also several starters from 2018 who were suited up, including Maurice Hurst and Arden Key.
Normally though, even with them dressed, you would expect they would play maybe the first half before giving way to the roster fringe players. That didn’t happen. Hurst and Key would play 56% of the snaps in the game. Among defensive linemen, only Ethan Westbrooks played more (73%).
They didn’t have much choice.
“Well, we’re running out of players,” said Gruden. “We’ve got Eddie Vanderdoes and Gabe Wright and P.J. Hall and a number of guys in the training room. And we’ve got some guys like Justin Ellis that we didn’t want to play tonight.”
Here are all of Saturday’s snap counts.