NFL notebook: Ravens safety Elam om Megatron: 'He's pretty old'
Ravens safety Matt Elam has plenty of words to describe wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the main object of focus for Baltimore's defensive backfield Monday night in Detroit.
Those words include “big, fast, athletic, unstoppable, freak.”
Curiously, Elam went in another direction when asked how best to cover the 28-year-old Johnson, who has amassed a club-record 9,184 yards receiving and 67 touchdowns in less than seven years.
Elam said, “He's pretty old, so I don't know how physical he'll be. He's a big guy, but he's older.”
• Bears coachMarc Trestman is optimistic quarterback Jay Cutler will be ready to return from an ankle injury this week against the Browns. Cutler was to work with the receivers Wednesday, and Trestman said the Bears will know Thursday if he's ready to start. Cutler's missed the past four games with a high left ankle sprain and also sat out one with a groin injury. Veteran Josh McCown has played well in his place, but the Bears repeatedly have said they would go with Cutler once he's ready.
• Some speedy children in Houston received more than $17,000 worth of toys and other Christmas gifts thanks to Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. A dozen at-risk youngsters had 80 seconds to dash through a toy store and grab what they could — to be paid for by Johnson. His jersey is No. 80. Some of the NFL team's cheerleaders helped the needy children push shopping baskets that quickly filled with holiday treats. The tab topped $17,300.
• As expected, coachJohn Fox has officially ruled out receiver Wes Welker for Denver's game against San Diego on Thursday night because of a concussion.
• Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is sidelined again, but he's expected to play Sunday against New England. The reason for Pouncey missing practice was listed as “non-injury.” The team declined to say whether he was absent because of his grand jury subpoena related to the criminal case involving his friend, former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.
• Aaron Rodgers took some first-team snaps in practice, though the Packers quarterback still hasn't been cleared to play in a game.
• California safety officials issued more than $50,000 in fines against an elevator company whose employee was killed while working at the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara.
— Wire reports