The biggest question coming into Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers was the status of linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who had suffered an ankle sprain during Friday's practice. After looking less than impressive during pregame warm ups, heavily favoring his injured ankle, the Bengals... elected to activate him Sunday (you thought I was going to say something else?). Burfict, who currently leads the team with 148 tackles (the team's number), will start.
Kevin Zeitler, who missed every practice this week, was declared out on Friday. Joining Zeitler on the team's inactive list is running back Rex Burkhead, offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson, defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi, wide receivers Ryan Whalen and Dane Sanzenbacher and safety Tony Dye. Mike Pollak will start for Zeitler.
One note of interest is that the team is keeping only five receivers active. Cincinnati is also going heavy with seven linebackers, likely as a precaution with Burfict's ankle. Behind starters Rey Maualuga, Burfict and James Harrison, J.K. Schaffer, Vinny Rey, Jayson DiManche and Michael Boley are all active. With Devon Still returning, out since week seven against the Detroit Lions, recently signed Christo Bilukidi will have the day off.
As for the Chargers, offensive tackle King Dunlap is out, as is wide receiver Eddie Royal, who has gutted out several games last month through an injury that's kept him out of practice. Jarret Johnson, Brad Sorenson, Brandon Taylor, Kwame Geathers and Willie Smith are also out.