Linebacker Manny Lawson is doubtful for Sunday's game after missing his third straight practice with a hamstring injury, meaning backup Tully Banta-Cain will likely take part in his first Sunday game action of the season.
backup Banta-Cain played in all 16 games last season with ten starts, but he's been inactive the first four weeks of the season.
"It has been frustrating," admitted Banta-Cain of his reduced role. "I think right now, my mind is on proving those wrong who think I shouldn't have been playing this whole time. Now I get the opportunity to do it, so I just have to take full advantage of it so that now that I'm back out there, they won't to inactivate me ever again."
Asked what Banta-Cain would need to show this Sunday to make that happen, head coach Mike Nolan answered, "Play well. Make tackles, make sacks, knock balls down, play well. Get noticed, in a positive way."
Banta-Cain said he expects to primarily play on special teams, but will be ready if he's called upon on defense.
"I know my positions on defense, so hopefully I get some defensive snaps," he said. "I'll be ready either way."
Banta-Cain's playing time arrives at an exciting juncture since it will give him an opportunity to compete against his former New England team. The veteran linebacker plans to stay focused on his job and what the team needs from him, instead of allowing his personal emotions to factor in.
"This is my sixth year. If you get too intense going into a game, it usually takes away from your performance. I try to stay relaxed and take it one play at a time and let the game come to me instead of trying to force plays or get out of doing my job. The biggest thing is staying relaxed and doing my job one play at a time."
Other Notes from Friday's Practice:
CB Shawntae Spencer and T Jonas Jennings have been ruled out of the game.
WR Arnaz Battle will serve as the offensive game captain for Sunday's game. LB Takeo Spikes will serve as the defensive game captain. LB Jeff Ulbrich will serve as the captain for special teams.