Who's in and who's out for Week 12 of the NFL season? We're tracking all the key actives and inactives for this Sunday's action.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (hip/collarbone): Bernard hasn't played since October 26, dealing with a hip pointer injury and collarbone issues, and while he was out, rookie running back Jeremy Hill started outplaying him. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson recently told the team's official website that Hill has earned more reps on a no-matter-what basis.
“I think he deserves it," Jackson said. "And I think with Gio just coming back, it's going to be hard for me to just say let's just thrust him in there again and let him go again,” Jackson said. “I think we've got to work him back into our process and how we do things. What will determine that is just how fast and how we think he is ready to go.”
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns (suspension): This will be Gordon's first start this season following his 10-game suspension for violations of the league's substance abuse policies, and the Browns have said that they'll have him on a pitch count. Falcons head coach Mike Smith, whose reeling pass defense will have to try and contain Gordon, doesn't really believe that.
"They've stated that they want to get him out on the field as quickly as possible," Smith said this week. "And he's a game-changer. He's a guy that with the ball in his hands, he can make plays. So we're anticipating that we're going to get a full dose of him this week."
Cleveland's receiver corps has already been surprisingly good without Gordon in the fold, but Gordon is simply on another plane, talent-wise. It will be very interesting to see how the 6-4 Browns use this bit of good fortune to affect their ability to take the AFC North.
Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos (ankle): The Broncos will be without a major weapon Sunday as Thomas, who suffered an ankle injury in Denver's loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 11, won't suit up. Denver's tight end leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns (12) and will be replaced by Jacob Tamme.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (knee): An MCL sprain will keep Fitzgerald out of a crucial NFC West matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. The 31-year-old hasn't missed a game since 2007.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans (groin): For the second straight week, Foster will be unable to play, as his groin injury is still a concern. Foster was didn't practice all week, and the Texans know they can push backup Alfred Blue as a replacement after his 36-carry, 156-yard rushing performance against the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. Cincinnati's run defense has floundered this season, so Blue could have another big day. Both Foster and the team are being cautious about the injury, and there are those in the organization who believe that Foster is healthy enough to go.
Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (hamstring): David, who has been enjoying a typically excellent season despite the travails of his team's defense, will not start against the Chicago Bears today due to a hamstring injury. This is good news for Bears running back Matt Forte, who was probably already expecting to have a big day against a Bucs defense having serious trouble adjusting to Lovie Smith's schematic concepts. The good news for the Bucs is that cornerback Alterraun Verner, and running backs Charles Sims and Doug Martin, will be available.
Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions (ankle): Bush was limited in practice this week, and it reportedly eyeing a return to action on Thanksgiving Day when the Lions take on the Bears. Bush hasn't played since November 9 with an ankle that had been troubling him before, and the Lions would rather be cautious and have a healthier Bush ready for the stretch run. Theo Riddick will continue to replace Bush in passing downs, and Joique Bell will also get more reps.
Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings (concussion): Asiata has played well in rotation with rookie Jerick McKinnon. But just as the Vikings now know that they'll be without Adrian Peterson for the rest of the season, they'll also be without Asiata in today's game against the Packers. Expect McKinnon to get most of the reps, with recent addition Ben Tate as a backup. McKinnon has had his own injury issues -- he was limited in practice this week with a back injury.