NFL Week 3 injury roundup: Key active/inactive players
In the NFL's constant war of attrition, injuries can decide games, seasons and a whole lot of futures. Here's who will give it a shot, and who will not, for the morning and afternoon games as we head into Week 3 of the 2013 season:
• Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (ankle): Jones-Drew has rushed for 72 yards on 25 carries through the first two games of the 2013 season, and he suffered an ankle tendon sprain against the Raiders last Sunday. After a great deal of speculation this week, he will be active against the Seattle Seahawks this afternoon. The Jags will have to lean on their franchise back heavily -- they have an offense that is undynamic, to put it kindly, and the Seahawks defense they're facing is still riding high after demolishing the 49ers last Sunday night.
• Chris Clemons, DE, Seattle Seahawks (knee): Clemons had offseason ACL surgery, and had looked good in practice and warm-ups of late. Head coach Pete Carroll confirmed on Friday that Clemons, who has racked up 11 sacks in each of the last three years for Seattle, will make his 2013 debut against the Jaguars.
• Ed Reed, S, Houston Texans (hip): As first reported by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Reed will make his debut as a member of the Texans' defense by starting against his old team, the Baltimore Ravens. "We feel good about today," Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said on Friday, after Reed was able to practice. "The biggest thing as I keep telling y’all is it is how he comes out of practices. Is he sore? Stuff like that. He came out of yesterday really good.”
• Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans (concussion): More good news for the Texans -- Johnson, who was concussed by Titans safety Bernard Pollard last week, will go against Baltimore's defense. He was fully cleared on Friday. Johnson and rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins will give Baltimore's secondary all it can handle.
• Carl Nicks, OG, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (toe): The Buccaneers' offense needs all the help it can get, and some serious help returns in the person of Nicks, who had missed the season's first two games due to a staph infection. We'll see how his conditioning is, but he's a big boost against a Patriots defense that is better than some may think. It's the first time that Nicks and Davin Joseph, projected as perhaps the NFL's best guard tandem, will see the field at the same time for Tampa Bay. Joseph missed the entire 2012 season with a knee injury. Nicks signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract before the 2012 season and missed nine games that year.
• Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers (hamstring): Davis suffered a hamstring injury against Seattle last week, and he'll be out against the Colts defense. This sets Anquan Boldin up to try and repeat his amazing Week 1 performance against the Packers, but it won't be easy without Davis -- though a tight end, Davis often set Boldin up on the underneath stuff with his own deeper routes.
• Duane Brown, LT, Houston Texans (toe): It's been a bad week for the NFL's blindside protectors. Denver's Ryan Clady is out for the year with a Lisfranc injury to his left foot, Seattle's Russell Okung is on the IR-to-return list with a toe injury and Atlanta's Sam Baker is out with knee and foot issues. But the injury to Brown is as impactful as any of these, because the Texans must deal with Baltimore's two-pronged pass rush in Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. Ryan Harris, who didn't start a game for the Texans last year and started just two for the Broncos the year before, will take Brown's place.
• Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens (hip): Rice will not go against the Texans, and according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, he may not play against the Buffalo Bills next week either, as this could be a two-week recovery process. Rice was listed as doubtful this week, and the Ravens are ready to roll with Bernard Pierce.
• Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (forearm): While Gronkowski has been working through his recovery from back surgery, he's also dealing with a left forearm that has also seen multiple surgeries. The Pats were hopeful that Gronkowski could go against the Buccaneers on Sunday, but they'll have to wait at least another week for that to happen.
• Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots (groin): Amendola is still dealing with the groin injury he suffered against the Bills in the season-opener, but the fact that he completely tore the adductor longus tendon off the bone is actually a good thing. Because surgery would normally require cutting the tendon, Amendola's injury made the doctors' jobs easier. Les Carpenter of Yahoo! Sports reports that Amendola does not have a sports hernia as originally estimated, and he's still week to week. However, he will not go against the Buccaneers.
• Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions (knee): The Lions shouldn't need Bush to torch the Redskins' league-worst defense, and they won't have him. Bush has lobbied to play through his current knee injury, but the Lions are thinking long-term, and they clearly see him as a crucial part of their 2013 plan.
• Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers (concussion): Lacy didn't practice at all this week after suffering a concussion at the hands of Redskins safety Brandon Meriwether last Sunday. James Starks, who last week became the first Packers back to pass the 100-yard mark in a single game since 2010, will get the start against the Cincinnati Bengals. • Anthony Spencer, DE, Dallas Cowboys (knee): Spencer made his 2013 debut against the Chiefs, getting limited action, but he's still working his way back from offseason knee surgery. He was a game-time decision but ultimately couldn't go. George Selvie will continue to get snaps opposite DeMarcus Ware in Monte Kiffin's Cowboys defense.