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Projecting Steelers typical gameday inactives based on depth chart for 53-man roster

While the Steelers must wait until Sunday afternoon to begin signing players to their practice squad, they should already have an idea of which players they expect to not dress on a typical Sunday.


The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided which 53 men will represent them on opening day against the Tennessee Titans, but only 46 of them will be allowed to dress for the game. Here's a glimpse of the seven players who may be wearing street clothes during a typical week before injuries become a factor, although some already are.

1. Landry Jones, QB

When in doubt, start with the most obvious answer. The Steelers only dress two quarterbacks for gamedays and have another skill player prepared for emergencies. In the past, this role has fallen on the shoulders of Hines Ward, Heath Miller and Emmanuel Sanders, for example.

2. Le'Veon Bell, RB

Isaac Redman is listed as the starter on the depth chart. Bell is listed at second, but is not expected to be ready by Week 1. Once Bell is healthy enough to return, he will take the place of whoever is underachieving between Redman and Felix Jones; unless Jones can seize the 3rd down and returner job from LaRod Stephens-Howling. One RB will sit during each game.

3. Derek Moye, WR

The Steelers only kept four receivers total on their 2012 final roster, mainly due to the fact they run very few true five-receiver sets. Moye's size makes him an intriguing option in short-yardage situations especially with the injuries in the tight end department, but the team kept five of them, leaving little hope right now for a fifth receiver to get a game hat.

4. Guy Whimper, OL

With Kelvin Beachum set as the primary tackle reserve and John Malecki listed as the backup to center Maurkice Pouncey and the guard positions, Whimper is probably the odd-man out of uniform. He is a veteran NFL tackle, and the team has given him enough reps at guard in practice to list him as the reserve to Ramon Foster.

5. Hebron Fangupo, DL

This inactive spot could go to NT Fangupo or DE Al Woods. Cameron Heyward should be the first backup to the end positions, but the Steelers gave plenty of NT reps to Woods during the off-season. The team is also employing more big-nickel packages lately. Fangupo will remain inactive until something happens to starter Steve McLendon or someone else.

6. Isaiah Green, CB

Safety Shamarko Thomas saw as many snaps at slot CB in nickel packages as he did at SS where he sits third behind Troy Polamalu and Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith. Reserve free-safety Robert Golden also saw time at cornerback in 2012. Curtis Brown has experience in the system, and William Gay has veteran experience. Expect Green to be the member of the secondary without pads until injury forces him into action, thanks to the versatility of Golden and Thomas.

7. Heath Miller, TE

Miller may have been activated from the PUP list, and may also be feeling great; but there are no guarantees he will be ready immediately. He will remain inactive until he returns to form. Once he does, the team will likely release one of the other three tight ends not named Matt Spaeth, who is still expected to be placed on IR with designation for return, for now. When the first tight end is released and a new player is signed to his roster spot, the new player will most likely be inactive unless he is needed on the field for injury reasons.

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