Who's in and who's out for Week 9 of the NFL season? We are tracking all the key actives and inactives for this Sunday's action:
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (toe): Green missed the Bengals' last three games with a toe injury, and the results were pretty obvious -- this team needs Green on the field more than just about anybody else. Cincinnati did put up 37 points against the Panthers in a Week 6 tie, but they were then shut out by the Colts a week later. Andy Dalton managed no touchdown passes against the Ravens last Sunday in a 27-24 win that Dalton captured with a quarterback sneak at the end of the game. Dalton has just six touchdown passes on the season, and none in the last two weeks. Green has said that he will be full-go with no limitations against the Jaguars, and that's good news for everyone except the Jaguars.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins (ankle): Earlier this week, we learned that Griffin's dislocated ankle had healed sufficiently and he would be able to play for the first time in nearly two months. Whether the organization will heal around Griffin appears to be another matter, as ESPN's Adam Schefter has heard that the decision to start Griffin over backup Colt McCoy was driven by ownership and not head coach Jay Gruden. There are also various reports of tension between Griffin and teammates. We'll see what happens when Griffin takes the field for the first time since Sept. 14 against the Vikings defense.
Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona Cardinals (concussion): Weeden will not be off the hook in any way, as Peterson will play after leaving last week's loss to the Eagles with a concussion. He passed the team's concussion protocol this week, so this is no surprise. Peterson isn't having a great season, but the Cardinals throw five or more defensive backs on the field 74 percent of the time this season, by far the most of any team in the league, so all hands need to be on deck.
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys (back): As we wrote earlier, and as was first reported by Desmond Purnell and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Romo will not go against the Cardinals' excellent defense due to the fractured transverse process he suffered in Monday night's loss to the Washington Redskins. Romo was hurt on a third-quarter blitz, and re-entered the game after taking a pain-killing injection. But in preparation for this game, it was reportedly Romo's call to sit out - which implies that pain management was a major issue here. Romo has played through several injuries and is one of the league's tougher quarterbacks, so this could be a fairly serious issue. Another fairly serious issue: Backup Brandon Weeden will have to deal with Arizona's multiple and highly effective blitz packages.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Houston Texans (illness): The first overall pick in the 2014 draft had been out since week one with a knee injury, but looked pretty decent last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, creating pressure as expected. However, Clowney will not be available to go against the Philadelphia Eagles because of an illness. Per Rapoport, some in the Texans organization are becoming frustrated with Clowney's missed time. Whether that's anything more than the desire to get their top pick on the field remains to be seen. Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, who missed last week's game with a knee injury, will miss the Eagles game as well.
Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets (shoulder): Whether Smith actually has a serious enough shoulder issue to preclude his participation against the Chiefs, or if the move to make him inactive Sunday is a mental break for both sides, Smith will not be available against Kansas City's defense. Smith was benched after a horrific early start against the Bills last Sunday, and Michael Vick at least provided league-average quarterback production in his place. Since Smith still has trouble dealing with blitz looks and locating his primary receivers, a break from Kansas City's creative fronts and frequent dime defenses may be the best thing. It's a shame for the Jets that this is so, but this is where Smith is in his development.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (hip): Bernard did not practice all week after suffering a hip pointer against the Ravens last Sunday, and he is in active for today's game against the Jaguars. Seconnd-round rookie will go in Bernard's place, and Hill might get another start on Thursday night when the Bengals lock horns with the Browns.