Week 14 actives/inactives: Browns' Cameron back in, Colts' Davis out
Who's in and who's out for Week 14 of the NFL season? We're tracking all the key actives and inactives for this Sunday's action.
Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos (ankle): Thomas has been out for the Broncos' last two games, which coincides with Denver's shift to a higher-volume rushing attack, as Thomas had been their most prolific goal-line receiver, and a matchup nightmare for opposing secondaries. He will go this afternoon against the Bills, which will be a huge boon to Peyton Manning, as Buffalo's defensive line should be able to shut down C.J. Anderson pretty well. Thomas has 12 touchdowns on just 40 receptions this season, and he forced opposing defenses to factor him on every play.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (knee): Fitzgerald has also missed the last two games, and it's showed up in a regressive passing game and two straight losses for the team that was once the belle of the NFL ball at 9-1. He'll be back in against the Chiefs' aggressive defense, as he participated fully in Friday's practice. The Cards are trying to stay afloat in a crowded NFL playoff picture, and the Seahawks are breathing down their collective necks in the NFC West. They'll need a big day from Fitzgerald.
Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns (concussion): After all the controversy this week regarding Mike Pettine's decision to stick with the slumping Brian Hoyer over Johnny Manziel, Hoyer will get a big target back this week, just in time to face the Colts defense. Cameron, who hasn't played since Oct. 26 because he was dealing with concussion issues, tweeted his status Sunday morning.
Go time.— Jordan Cameron (@jordancameron) December 7, 2014
Indeed it is go time, as Hoyer will have Cameron and Josh Gordon on the field together for the first time this season. Like Gordon since he came off his 10-game suspension, Cameron may take a while to get back in the swing of things, but something needs to change with Cleveland's offense -- in November, Hoyer completed 97 of 177 passes (54.8 completion rate) for 1,342 yards, three touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens (knee): The Dolphins' run defense has been a sieve recently, and Forsett, who has surprised just about everybody with the most productive season of his career, will be on the field to take advantage. He returned to practice late in the week after experiencing "general soreness." He rushed 24 times for 106 yards against the Chargers last Sunday (his third straight game with over 100 yards on the ground), and he should get a similar workload against Miami.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers (knee): Olsen will be good to go against the Saints today, which is good news for Carolina's ailing pass defense. Olsen was injured last week against the Vikings, but returned to practice later in the week. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 6.
Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions (ankle): Bush, who hasn't played since Week 10 because of an ankle injury, will be active against the Buccaneers on Sunday, though in limited fashion. Bush may be limited in overall packages, and Joique Bell is estimated to be the Lions' primary back. The Bucs defense has enjoyed a bit of a rebirth after a very rough start to the season, and the Lions offense is still struggling a bit to retain consistency, so a reasonably healthy Bush would certainly help the short and intermediate passing game.
Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants (ankle): The Giants, who have lost seven games in a row, will almost certainly see quite a bit of change this offseason. In the interim, however, Tom Coughlin at least will have Jennings, one of the team's few free-agent signings that actually paid off this year, on the field against the Tennessee Titans. Jennings left last Sunday's loss to the Jaguars with an ankle injury, and he's been limited in practice this week. But he should be a factor, even in a sub-optimal manner, against a Titans defense that has been vulnerable to the run all season. Andre Williams, who's more of a power plodder, will be the backup if Jennings can't finish the game or re-aggravates the injury. Most likely, he'll be an option primarily on passing downs.
Vontae Davis, CB, Indianapolis Colts (concussion): Putting aside Cleveland's recent problems with the passing game, the Browns got a huge break when Davis was ruled out due to the concussion he suffered against the Redskins last Sunday. Greg Toler will be the main man against Josh Gordon, Cleveland's top receiver, with Josh Gordy and Darius Butler getting more first-team responsibility. Both are sub-package corners, and Davis is the only consistently top-tier pass defender on the team. The Colts' pass defense has struggled mightily when Davis has been out this year, and if Brian Hoyer can't take advantage of that, head coach Mike Pettine might need to give Hoyer the hook and see what Johnny Manziel can do.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins (leg): Whatever it is that Jay Gruden is trying to do with Washington's passing game, Jackson won't be included when the Redskins take on the Rams. Jackson suffered a fibula contusion against the Colts last Sunday, and was a non-factor in practice. Tight end Jordan Reed should see additional targets against St. Louis' tough defense.
Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans (hand): Wright, a talented and underrated receiver, had been victimized from a production standpoint by the Titans' quarterback troubles, but he turned that around with a seven-catch, 132-yard performance against the Houston Texans last Sunday. Sadly, Wright also suffered a cracked bone in his hand, and he will not go against the Giants. This makes Nate Washington the primary target for Zach Mettenberger, and gives head coach Ken Whisenhunt one more headache.