Sunday, December 2, 2012
Three early games and flurry of inactives
By Mike Sando
CHICAGO -- All four NFC West teams are playing early games Sunday. As a result, news regarding inactive players hit all at once.
Let's sort through what it means.
- Arizona Cardinals: With Andre Roberts out, rookie first-round draft choice Michael Floyd is starting at wide receiver. Early Doucet is active after missing the game last week. Floyd, second-year tight end Rob Housler and possibly Doucet could see more targets. The defense will suffer again without injured end Calais Campbell, arguably the best player on the team not named Larry Fitzgerald.
- St. Louis Rams: Top receiver Danny Amendola is out. That probably means more chances for emerging rookie Chris Givens, who topped 100 yards last week while a foot injury limited Amendola to 14 percent of the offensive snaps. Linebacker Mario Haggan's absence affects the base defense, which figures to play more against a 49ers offense that favors heavier personnel groupings.
- San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Jacobs is active. Rookie LaMichael James is not. That puts Jacobs in prime position to make an impact as the 49ers play their first game of the season without injured No. 2 back Kendall Hunter. Rookie first-round pick A.J. Jenkins is active, a rarity. The team needed him after losing third/fourth receiver Kyle Williams to a season-ending injury. It's unclear whether Jenkins will play much, however. Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Randy Moss are the top three receivers. Moss and Williams had been getting a similar number of snaps. Will Jenkins get some of those, or will the veteran receivers absorb all of them? Tough to say.
- Seattle Seahawks: Walter Thurmond makes his 2012 debut and will serve as the nickel corner after the team named Marcus Trufant inactive with a hamstring injury. Thurmond is better than Trufant at this stage of their careers if both are healthy. Thurmond hasn't been able to stay healthy. This is a big game for him. Seattle is without linebacker Leroy Hill. He's been playing hurt and it has shown in his game.