Look who's back: NFL players returning from suspension in Week 5

Eleven players are eligible to make their season debuts this week after serving four-game suspensions. Here's a look at who's back and what their returns mean to their teams.

Baltimore Ravens

Jimmy Smith, CB

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy

What his return means: The NFL's No. 4 defense gets back its top cornerback. Smith could be eased back into the lineup Sunday in Cleveland, but he is expected to return to his starting role by the time Baltimore faces the likes of Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger. Expect the turnovers to increase for the Ravens' defense. With Smith last season, the Ravens made 16 interceptions in 12 games. Without him, Baltimore picked off two passes in four games. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Vontaze Burfict, LB

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances

What his return means: The Bengals get an upgrade at the linebacker position, and Burfict's teammates have said that having him is like "having a coach on the field." That just might help their atrocious third-down conversion rate. The Bengals' defense is allowing 57.4 percent of third downs to be converted, which ranks last in the league. But considering Burfict was injured in training camp before his suspension began, it's unclear what kind of shape he will be in and how effective he can be right away. --Katherine Terrell

Dallas Cowboys

David Irving, DT

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy

What his return means: The Cowboys' defensive line rotation should get stronger, but that depends on Irving’s conditioning. He missed most of the offseason program while dealing with personal issues. He did not go to training camp, spending his time in a Hollywood gym working out. He has been around the team the past three weeks, but the Cowboys aren’t sure if he will be able to contribute on the field right away. With injuries to Antwaun Woods (calf) and Maliek Collins (knee), the Cowboys could be forced to play Irving before he is ready. -- Todd Archer

Indianapolis Colts

Robert Turbin, RB

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances

What his return means: The Colts have struggled running the ball, averaging only 3.6 yards a carry, which is 26th in the NFL. Turbin will bring experience to a backfield that has had rookies Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines carrying the bulk of the load since Marlon Mack has missed three of four games this season. Turbin spent most of the spring working with the first unit prior to the announcement of his suspension. -- Mike Wells

Los Angeles Chargers

Corey Liuget, DT

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances

What his return means: With Joey Bosa out the first four games due to a bruised left foot, the Chargers struggled to generate consistent pressure up front. The return of Liuget should help the Bolts get better pressure from the interior with his pass-rush skills. Liuget has recorded 22.5 sacks in eight NFL seasons. "I definitely feel very confident in myself in getting out there and creating some push to the quarterback," he said. --Eric Williams

Minnesota Vikings

Kentrell Brothers, LB

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances

What his return means: Minnesota’s linebacker play has been well below average the first four weeks of the season. Guys being out of position, getting dismantled by play fakes and misdirection have hurt the Vikings' defense, which ranks in the bottom half of the NFL (total and passing defense). Brothers isn’t coming back to a job in the starting lineup, nor is he expected to contend for one, despite the struggles of Anthony Barr, but he should regain his role on special teams fairly soon. -- Courtney Cronin

New England Patriots

Julian Edelman, WR

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances

What his return means: While Bill Belichick has downplayed the possibility of an immediate impact, Edelman is expected to be on the field in multiple packages Thursday night against the Colts, and his presence immediately adds to quarterback Tom Brady's comfort level because Edelman consistently gets open early in his routes. Thus, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Brady and Edelman pick up where they left off in 2016 prior to Edelman’s torn ACL. -- Mike Reiss

New Orleans Saints

Mark Ingram, RB

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances

What his return means: It almost seems unfair for the rest of the league, given that the Saints rank in the top four in the NFL in yards and points without Ingram. But his return will be especially welcome for backfield mate Alvin Kamara, who has taken on a monster workload without Ingram. Kamara has averaged 59 snaps and 23 touches per game this season while leading the NFL with 611 yards from scrimmage and tying for the league lead with six touchdowns. Kamara’s workload should obviously decrease a bit now -- but not too much, seeing as he has probably earned the "1A" job to Ingram’s "1B." Both of them proved last season that they could play at a Pro Bowl level together while keeping each other fresh and keeping defenses off-balance. Over their past 10 full games together, Ingram averaged 15.6 touches per game and Kamara averaged 15.0. In those 10 games, Kamara scored 14 offensive touchdowns and Ingram scored 12, which is a stunning and unsustainable rate, but it’s probably a realistic expectation of how they’ll split the TDs. -- Mike Triplett

New York Giants

Josh Mauro, DE

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances

What his return means: Mauro adds to the Giants’ defensive line depth. He’s a grinder whom defensive coordinator James Bettcher knows well from Arizona. The Giants have until Monday to activate Mauro from a reserve list, so he could spend a week practicing before they add him to the active roster. -- Jordan Raanan

New York Jets

Rashard Robinson, CB

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy

What his return means: Robinson, who arrived last season from the 49ers with plenty of baggage, received praise from coach Todd Bowles for the manner in which he conducted himself in the preseason. If Robinson continues on that path, he could climb to CB4 on the depth chart, which likely means limited snaps on defense and a role on special teams. His return could hasten the release of cornerback Juston Burris, a 2016 fourth-round pick who has been a healthy scratch for three straight weeks. -- Rich Cimini

Oakland Raiders

Daryl Worley, CB

Suspension: Missed the first four games for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse and personal conduct

What his return means: Worley got first-team reps at right corner in training camp with Gareon Conley dealing with a hip injury. Conley had a 36-yard pick-six in Sunday’s 45-42 overtime victory against the Browns, and left corner Rashaan Melvin had an interception at Denver in Week 2. Worley’s return gives Oakland much-needed depth at cornerback. "We like Worley, the job that he did in the offseason," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said this week. "He’s a good player. We’ll see where he is, and we’ll make any adjustments that we’ll need to make in a few days after we see where he is." -- Paul Gutierrez