This article is part of our NFL Barometer series.
Another week of preseason not only drew us closer to Week 1, it got us closer to some closure on certain job battles throughout the league. In some cases, first units got a longer leash in terms of playing time, while young skill players saw extended action that encompassed multiple quarters. It's another week with plenty of candidates on both the bullish and bearish end of the spectrum, so let's dive in to examining whose outlook is either brightening or dimming.
Josh Allen, Bills: The combination of a collarbone injury to AJ McCarron – not as serious as originally feared, but one that's still causing him to miss practice for the time being – and the announcement that Allen will draw the start for this week's "dress rehearsal" game against the Bengals has the latter's stock trending in the right direction. The decision by head coach Sean McDermott to have his rookie get extended action with the starters in the most meaningful game of the preseason clearly points to an audition for a potential Week 1 starting gig, and Allen may well be up to the task – he's thrown for 176 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in his first pair of exhibitions while playing behind the second -and third-team offensive line and with secondary pass catchers. How he acquits himself Sunday versus Cincinnati should go a long way to determining his immediate future.
Carlos Hyde, Browns: While there was