Robert Griffin back, Jonathan Stewart out: Week 16′s key actives/inactives
The stakes are elevated in Week 16 as the playoff race moves closer to a conclusion, so the impact of injuries will be felt even more by those teams still in contention.
Robert Griffin III’s return is the biggest piece of news from Sunday’s early games, but it’s not the only roster news we are keeping our eyes on. Here are some of the key Week 16 actives/inactives.
• Morris Claiborne, CB, Cowboys (head): Claiborne said as early as Monday that he expected to play this week, after missing Week 15 with a concussion. The Cowboys will happily welcome him back to help deal with New Orleans’ loaded passing game.
• Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins (knee): Griffin will wear a knee brace on his right knee, which could limit his mobility a bit, but he’s in the lineup nonetheless. Kirk Cousins will resume his backup duties.
• Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins (back): Believe it or not, Miami remains alive in the playoff race. The Dolphins will have to find a way to win Sunday without Hartline.
• Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants (knee): The Giants will have both Nicks and RB Ahmad Bradshaw at their disposal on Sunday for a huge game against the Giants.
• Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow, QBs, Jets: New York’s mess at QB continues — Greg McElroy will start against San Diego, but all three Jets quarterbacks will be active.
• Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens (head): Smith has been cleared to play, one week after suffering a concussion when he slammed his head to the turf while trying to make a catch.
• Wes Welker, WR, Patriots (questionable): The Patriots more or less list their entire roster as questionable, so it’s not a huge issue normally. Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez all will suit up after being deemed questionable.
• Alex Green, RB, Packers (head): Green played last Sunday against Chicago but sat out practice for most of this week. He was listed as questionable on the Packers’ injury report, and there was some hope that he would be cleared before game time. Instead, Ryan Grant is expected to start.
• Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots (elbow): Gronkowski has begun practicing again. The Patriots will not use him, though, until at least Week 17.
• Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers (ankle): Despite his “questionable” designation, Stewart was expected to play headed into Sunday. Instead, DeAngelo Williams ought to see plenty of work.
• Michael Vick, QB, Eagles (head): Vick is a healthy scratch Sunday, despite rejoining practice for the Eagles recently. The Eagles will stick with Nick Foles at QB for the final two games.
• Kendall Wright, WR, Titans (ribs): Wright did not practice week, so he would have been an unexpected “active” against Green Bay.