The Cincinnati Bengals need to win the last three games of the season to have a shot at the playoffs as a 10-6 team. Their playoff push begins in St. Louis against the 2-11 Rams. It would be nice to know that the Bengals are at full strength in St. Louis, but that's not the case as there are a handful of playmakers that won't be active for the team's Week 15 game.
Right tackle Andre Smith, fullback Chris Pressley and third-down back (as well as backup fullback) Brian Leonard are out due to injuries. They will be joined by Andre Caldwell, who was not on the injury report, but according to Geoff Hobson, is sitting out today because of a coache's decision. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Whalen will be active today in Caldwell's place. That means that Andrew Hawkins will likely be the team's starting slot receiver today.
For the Rams, both quarterbacks Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley are inactive, which means that the Bengals will face Kellen Clemens on Sunday. Also inactive for the Rams are cornerback Justin King, running back Quinn Porter, linebacker Justin Cole, offensive tackle Mark LeVoir and defensive end James Hall.
One matchup to watch is defensive end Chris Long, who is active for the Rams, against Bengals backup tackle Anthony Collins. Long has racked up 12 quarterback sacks so far this season so Collins will have his hands full.