Chris Johnson in, Ravens play it safe: Week 17 key actives/inactives
The last Sunday of the NFL’s regular season opens with plenty left to settle in both the AFC and, especially, the NFC. For those teams that have already clinched playoffs spots or been eliminated from the race, though, Week 17 poses some lineup challenges.
Will coaches risk injuries to their key stars in relatively meaningless games? Who’s in and who’s out? We’re keeping track of all the key Week 17 actives/inactives:
• Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers (head): Davis has been cleared and will play Sunday against the Cardinals. That’s a big change from earlier in the week, when Davis admitted that he was not optimistic about his chances to take the field.
• Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots (elbow): The Patriots will get their game-changing tight end back Sunday against Miami. How much he actually plays remains to be seen.
• Chris Johnson, RB, Titans (ankle): Johnson was listed as questionable this week with an ankle injury. He’ll give it one last go in 2012 in Tennessee’s game against Jacksonville.
• Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Lions (ankle): Pettigrew will play for the first time since Week 14 as the Lions try to eliminate the Bears from the playoffs. Tony Scheffler had been starting in his place.
• Ray Rice, RB, Ravens: There were some rumblings early Sunday that Rice would sit, with the Ravens locked into the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the AFC. Rice will start against Cincinnati, though his reps — and those of Baltimore’s other key offensive starters — may be limited.
• Justin Tuck, DE, Giants (shoulder): Tuck did not play in Week 16 against the Ravens, but he’ll return to the lineup for the defending champs’ must-win game against Philadelphia. Hakeem Nicks also will be on the field for the Giants.
• Roddy White, WR, Falcons (knee): White was listed as questionable again this week but, as has become the norm, he’ll play through pain. How much he will be on the field, though, is unclear. Given that Atlanta has the No. 1 seed in the NFC locked up already, odds are that White will play somewhat sparingly.
• Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens (shoulder): The Ravens had as many up-in-the-air roster situations as any team for Week 17, and they’re mostly playing it safe. Boldin should be good to go for the postseason, even if he’s less than 100 percent.
• Randall Cobb, WR, Packers (ankle): Cobb will stay on the sideline Sunday, one week after suffering an ankle injury. The Packers could have an extra week off after this one — a win would give Green Bay a first-round bye.
• Ray Lewis, LB, Ravens (triceps): Despite Baltimore’s defensive star being activated off injured reserve earlier this week, Lewis will not suit up until at least the opening round of the playoffs.
• Montell Owens, RB, Jaguars (knee): Owens aggravated a knee injury during pre-game warmups and will miss Jacksonville’s season finale. Keith Toston will start in his stead.
• Brooks Reed, LB, Texans (groin): Houston will rest Reed in hopes of having him ready for the playoffs. However, if the Texans lose to Indianapolis and have to open their postseason quest next week, will Reed’s nagging groin injury be healed up enough to let him play?
• Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers (ankle): Stewart has had trouble staying healthy during the latter portion of the season, and he’ll miss Week 17.