Good morning, check out our game preview and prediction for the Browns' Week 8 matchup today against the . In this week's edition of "The Sunday Five," I look at the opportunity that WR Dwayne Bowe should have in front of him, updates on CB Charles Gaines and RB Glenn Winston, and more.fans, and welcome to gameday! Be sure to
1. Bowe's Time to Shine: You can tell there isn't much to talk about when my first bullet point is circling back on the never-ending tale of WR Dwayne Bowe. When you listen to everything that head coach Mike Pettine has been saying the past couple of weeks, though, particularly this past Friday, it really does seem like Bowe will have a chance to be a part of the rotation this Sunday.
Pettine was asked if there is a connection between Bowe's performance in practice and his inactive status on gameday. His response is that the position minimum at wide receiver is four. Then, he spoke about guys like WR Marlon Moore and CB Johnson Bademosi, saying how they are "special teamers first, and then position players." He then said that "for the weeks that Bowe has been inactive, it's been because of the numbers game."
Hopefully, Bowe can take advantage of this opportunity. As frustrating as he has been all year, maybe he can still channel a little bit of his talent from yesteryear. If Bowe comes out and has a pretty good day, then maybe he receives consideration for playing some snaps even when WR Andrew Hawkins returns from his concussion. And, if Bowe isn't even active this week, then he needs to be cut on Monday.
2. Portraying the Optimistic Perspective: At 2-5, things are looking doom and gloom for the Browns, but remember that it was just two weeks ago that they were oh-so-close to taking out the undefeated Broncos at home. What if Joe Haden and Tashaun Gipson return with high-caliber performances and things just happen to go Cleveland's way this week, much like they did for Pittsburgh two weeks ago against Arizona?
Then, on Thursday, Cleveland takes on the currently-undefeated-Bengals. Cincinnati has had a terrible prime time record with QB Andy Dalton under center, so much that the Browns shut them out around this time last year. If Cleveland can bump their record to 4-5, they won't be in contention for the AFC North title, but that sixth wildcard spot -- which currently belongs to the Steelers -- is still up-for-grabs.
3. Could Gaines be Called Up? If my calculations are correct, the Browns can choose to activate CB Charles Gaines after this week's game, leading up to the Bengals game on Thursday, if they so choose to. Remember that Gaines was terrific in the third preseason game against the Buccaneers, scoring high marks from the coaching staff. He's dropped 12 pounds since then and head coach Mike Pettine has said that he's in great shape. Cleveland wouldn't even have to make a big roster move to add him to the roster -- they could simply cut DB Don Jones, who was signed a couple of weeks ago to help on special teams after CB Joe Haden suffered a concussion.
4. Other PUP News: Of the three other players on the physically unable to perform list, the only one we've heard anything about is RB Glenn Winston. The coaching staff likes Winston enough to keep him on their 53-man roster all of last season without playing him at running back, alas what they are doing to TE E.J. Bibbs this year. The Browns also carried four running backs last year, including Winston, and they are currently only carrying three. It has crossed my mind that, when the deadline comes to make a decision on Winston this year, the team might decide to waive Bibbs -- and hope to get him on the practice squad -- in favor of Winston. Remember that Winston did play on special teams last year, while the team has basically said that Bibbs isn't ready to contribute on special teams yet. I was hoping we'd hear some news about TE Randall Telfer for his blocking ability, but there has been no word of him returning to practice.
5. Projecting the Inactives for the Cardinals vs. Browns: It's time to predict the inactives on gameday, as the team can only dress 46 players. The players we know for sure will be inactive this week are WR Andrew Hawkins, TE Jordan Poyer. The other four inactives I'm projecting are QB , TE , ILB Jayson DiManche, and S .and S