Twenty-two players will be making their farewell performance for the Lions in tonight’s exhibition finale against the Bills.

Somebody like perhaps running back and special teams leader Montell Owens (knee) may end up on the reserve-PUP list and could be back in six weeks. But other than that this is the final audition for a lot of players.

And that’s why the fourth quarter Thursday could be the most revealing 15 minutes of the exhibition season. Typically the players who are on the field in the final quarter of the final exhibition are the ones who aren’t going to survive the final cut which is 6 p.m. Saturday.

Here then is a position-by-position look at the players who may be on the bubble.
Quarterback

The only issue here is whether the Lions will keep three quarterbacks. General manager Martin Mayhew has been adamant about carrying three so there is no reason to think that will change.

On the roster: Matthew Stafford Shaun Hill and Kellen Moore

On the bubble: None
Running backs

The Lions finished last season with five running backs and one fullback but that included returner Stefan Logan. If Steven Miller wins the return job (battling receiver Micheal Spurlock) they could carry the same this season.

Reggie Bush Joique Bell and Mikel Leshoure are locks. If Montell Owens begins the season on reserve-PUP then fullback Shaun Chapas could make the team.

The big battle is between Miller and sixth-round pick Theo Riddick. It seems unlikely both would make the roster though both would be candidates for the practice squad. Miller will have to show something special in the return game for the Lions to risk exposing Riddick to a waiver claim.

On the roster: Bush Bell Leshoure Chapas

On the bubble: Miller and Riddick

On the mend: Owens
Tight ends

The question is will the Lions keep four tight ends. Typically they don’t but after starters Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler both undrafted rookie Joseph Fauria and seventh-round pick Michael Williams have made strong cases.

Williams currently has a broken hand so he may end up on IR and that would solve the dilemma. But it appears Fauria a 6-foot-7 matchup nightmare has done enough to make the squad.

On the roster: Pettigrew Scheffler

On the bubble: Fauria

On the mend: Williams
Receivers

You almost hesitate to guess here because this position isn’t likely to be set come Saturday night. There is a good chance the Lions might snag a receiver off the waiver wire.

But if they keep five like they ended with last season Calvin Johnson Nate Burleson Ryan Broyles and Patrick Edwards are probably going to be four.

Of the rest the only two that have stood out are Spurlock and Matt Willis. Rookie Corey Fuller could be a candidate for the practice squad and Kris Durham who started at the end of last season could be playing elsewhere.

On the roster: Johnson Burleson Broyles Edwards

On the bubble: Spurlock Willis Fuller Durham
Offensive linemen