Carolina is not going to have an easy time stopping the run today, even though the Saints have deactivated running back Pierre Thomas. Panthers defensive tackles Damione Lewis and Maake Kemoeatu were both deactivated, leaving Carolina short-handed against the run.
DT Nick Hayden, a 2008 sixth-round pick from Wisconsin, should make his first NFL start for the Panthers.
Other key inactives so far:
Steelers LB James Harrison, Browns TE Kellen Winslow, Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha.
And if the Lions complete their path to imperfection, it will not be due to lack of effort or desire.
Three Lions listed as questionable on this week’s injury report — linebacker Ernie Sims (knee), running back Kevin Smith (ankle) and defensive end Dewayne White (calf) — are all active for today’s potentially history-making game at Green Bay.