In other cities things like draft position, reputation and contract status may give you safe harbor on cutdown day, but not in New England.

Everyone is on the bubble here.

Because the Patriots conduct business behind a cloud of secrecy, it’s difficult to identify what players are fighting for life. If the team decides to carry a fullback and a third tight end -- which would be a change in philosophy from previous seasons -- that could bring about unexpected changes.

But no matter how things shake out across the rest of the roster, a handful of players will be fighting for their jobs during the next two games – assuming they survive until the finale.

Brandon Bolden (RB, undrafted rookie, Ole Miss) -- Bolden showed good burst and power during training camp, but he’s since faded after struggling with ball protection. He fumbled at least three times during the last two weeks of camp and let a punt slip through his hands Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. If Bolden fails to win his way back into coach Bill Belichick’s good graces, he could be headed for the practice squad

Justin Francis (DL, undrafted, Rutgers) -- Francis has practiced well, often overmatching members of the offensive line with his speed and strength, but that hasn’t carried over into games. He never once shook his blocker in the preseason opener against the Saints and didn’t make enough impact against the Eagles to escape the hot seat heading into Friday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Jabar Gaffney (WR, 11th season, spent last season in Washington, played for Patriots from 2006-2008) -- This could end up being the surprise cut of preseason. Due to injuries and ineffectiveness, Gaffney has fallen behind Deion Branch and Donte Stallworth in the battle for the final two wide receiver spots. If New England decides to change course and only carries five receivers into week one, as it did to start the 2007 season, Stallworth could also find himself on this list.

Nick Underhill covers the Patriots for Follow him on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLNE or @nick_underhill.