Northcutt's sprained right knee hasn't progressed as well as he had hoped this week. Coach Butch Davis said that Northcutt definitely won't play on offense, and he probably won't be available on punt returns.
Prior to Wednesday's practice Northcutt expressed hope that he might be able to play. He was only able to do limited work Wednesday and Thursday.
MAKING PROGRESS: Receiver Quincy Morgan might be the most-improved player on offense. After struggling through his rookie season, Morgan is 118 yards short of 1,000 yards in receptions.
Morgan's goals before the season began were 60 receptions, 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Playing in an offense in which quarterback Tim Couch spreads the ball to four or more receivers, Morgan has caught 51 passes for 882 yards and seven touchdowns.
"KJ (Kevin Johnson) is still number one. When it comes to crunch time, those plays get called to him," Morgan said. "I'm not number one now. I'm just going out and making the plays that are called to me."
That doesn't mean that Morgan doesn't have designs on being Couch's favorite target in coming seasons. He's convinced that he has the tools needed to develop into a go-to player. In fact, Morgan was disappointed that his number wasn't called on the final, ill-fated drive in the 28-23 loss to Indianapolis last Sunday.
"Not just on the last play, but in the game," said Morgan, who opened the game with a 78-yard touchdown reception but caught just two more passes. "I don't want to be back side all the time. But we have a playmaker over there in KJ. He's been doing it for three years. I can't fault that."
Morgan has done more than just improve his route running and pass-catching skills. Davis has been impressed with Morgan's run blocking, particularly in last Sunday's game.
"It might have been his finest performance as a receiver," Davis said. "Some of the blocks he made were outstanding. I don't know if I've been around a guy who's playing more physical as a receiver."
JUST A THOUGHT: Davis made note of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary basketball star LeBron James during his Thursday's press conference. When it was mentioned that James was a talented receiver in football before giving up the sport after his junior season, Davis' mind kicked into gear.
"I'm going to cut a deal with him," Davis said. "If we can get the Cavs to draft him, we'll see if we can share contracts with them. You think they'd go for that?"
ALL'S WELL: Surgery on Courtney Brown's left knee Thursday went fine, and he was resting at home in the afternoon. The surgery was to remove loose bodies in the knee. He's expected to be 100 percent healthy in four to six weeks.
INJURY UPDATE: The only change for either team is the addition of safety Will Demps as probable with a leg injury.