Injury roundup: Week 1's key actives/inactives
Going into Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season, 170 players have already been placed on injured reserve -- more than in any previous season before the darned thing even got started. There are other players able to go, but flirting with serious injury circumstances. Here's who will give it a shot, and who will not.
• Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants (back): It's not confirmed yet, but FOX Sports' Jay Glazer has it on good authority that Pierre-Paul will play tonight against the Cowboys, and Glazer's as reliable as they come.
"He’s practiced," Tom Coughlin said of Pierre-Paul on Friday. "We listed him as questionable. Done a good job of what we’ve asked him to do." Pierre-Paul said that he would make the trip to Dallas, and that his status would be a game-time decision.
• Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets (foot): Holmes will play against the Buccaneers, and will likely draw Darrelle Revis in coverage. Neither man played at all in the preseason, but Geno Smith will certainly need Holmes' best effort in an otherwise anemic offense.
• Roddy White, WR, Falcons (ankle): Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network confirmed with the Atlanta staff that White will play against the Saints, but his high ankle sprain could limit him pretty heavily. That's great news for a Saints defense looking to rebound from last season's terrible showing overall. White caught eight passes for 134 yards against the Saints in 2012.
• Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo Bills (foot): Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Williams will play through the plantar fasciitis he has been dealing with for a while. He'll be testing that foot against Patriots tackle Sebstian Vollmer.
• Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jaguars (thumb): The Jaguars have announced that Gabbert will get the start against the Kansas City Chiefs. Expect new head coach Gus Bradley to have a hook ready if Gabbert performs inefficiently. He got most of the practice reps in Friday, and was listed as questionable on the team's Friday injury report.
• Morgan Burnett, FS, Green Bay Packers (hamstring): The Packers were already without cornerback Casey Hayward, and the loss of Burnett to a hamstring injury means that Green Bay will trust in Jeron McMillan, M.D. Jennings, and Micah Hyde to deal with Colin Kaepernick and his receivers.
• Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots (forearm, back): Gronkowski was officially ruled out by the Patriots on Saturday night. As we wrote yesterday, no franchise quarterback in the modern era has undergone more receiver churn in one season than Tom Brady from 2012 to 2013.
• Brandon Browner, CB, Seahawks (hamstring): Browner is the Seahawks' most physical cornerback, but he struggles at times against speed receivers. Expect preseason start Walter Thurmond to get a lot of looks opposite Richard Sherman against the Panthers.
• Carl Nicks, OG, Buccaneers (toe): Nicks was one of two players (kicker Lawrence Tynes was the other) to contract staph infections in the offseason. He will not play against the Jets and will be replaced by former Chicago Bears draft bust Gabe Carimi.
• Ahtyba Rubin, DT, Cleveland Browns (calf): This is a big loss for the Browns' upgraded front seven. Rubin has been one of the league's more underrated interior linemen over the last few years. Billy Winn will start in Rubin's place against the Dolphins.
• Jairus Byrd, S, Buffalo Bills (foot): Not a huge surprise here. Byrd was limited in practice this week, and with cornerback Stephon Gilmore already out, Tom Brady may have a relatively easy time even with all his new receivers. Byrd and Gilmore are Buffalo's best pass defenders.
• Andrew Whitworth, LT, Cincinnati Bengals (knee): Whitworth made our "All-Underrated Team." and the Bengals are about to find out just how important he is to their offense. With their best offensive lineman on the sideline, Anthony Collins will have the unenviable task of dealing with Julius Peppers. Ouch. • Menelik Watson, LT, Oakland Raiders (knee): The rookie actually looked pretty solid against the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason finale, but his inactive status means that Khalif Barnes will protect the blind side of either Matt Flynn or Terrelle Pryor, whenever the team figures that out. We're not suggesting that the Raiders are already looking forward to the choice between Jadeveon Clowney and Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 draft, but it's hard to find talent on the current Raiders roster ... at all.