Rashard Mendenall set for 2012 debut: NFL Week 5 early actives/inactives
We’re tracking the key players in and out of their teams’ lineups for Sunday’s early games …
• Coby Fleener, TE, Colts (head): Andrew Luck wasn’t sure he’d have one of his favorite targets Sunday, but Fleener is active. Up against Green Bay’s shaky pass defense, he could turn in a solid game.
• Dwight Freeney, DE, Colts (ankle): Indianapolis’ pass rush should receive a boost with the return of Freeney. He’s been out since injuring his ankle in a Week 1 loss to the Colts.
• Ryan Grant, RB, Redskins: Grant will make his Redskins debut on Sunday — he signed prior to Week 4 but did not dress against Tampa Bay. How much action he’ll see remains to be seen, especially with Alfred Morris off to such a strong start.
• Derrick Johnson, LB, Chiefs (groin): The reeling Chiefs don’t need any more injury woes, so having Johnson on the field Sunday against the Ravens is key.
• Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers (knee): Mendenhall, who injured his knee late in the 2011 season, will make his 2012 debut on Sunday against the Eagles. Jonathan Dwyer took Mendenhall’s place on the inactive list.
• Antrel Rolle, S, Giants (knee): There’s not a lot of positive injury news for New York, but at least Rolle will play against the Browns. Rolle came up hobbling last week and was listed as questionable for Week 5.
• Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers: As mentioned above in the Mendenhall note, Dwyer is out Sunday against the Eagles. He’s not on the injury report, however, so it just looks like Dwyer was squeezed out by Mendenhall’s return.
• Hakeem Nicks, WR; David Diehl, OL; Keith Rivers, LB; Giants (foot): The Giants announced earlier this week that Nicks would not play Sunday, but they made it official prior to their game against Cleveland. Diehl and Rivers were questionable on Friday’s injury report.
• James Starks, RB, Packers (toe): The Packers talked about getting Starks involved in the game plan for Week 5, but instead, he will continue to ride the pine. Starks has yet to play this season.