Just before kickoff of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week-4 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, it was announced Eli Rogers wouldn’t be getting a helmet on game day. Instead, he was one of the listed inactive players for the big AFC North divisional game.
Rogers hadn’t been lighting up the stat sheet, but one job he possessed which was of significance to the Steelers was that of punt returner. As it turned out, his muffed punt in Week 3 against the Bears is what led to his inactive status, but it also forced Antonio Brown back into the punt returner role once again.
Brown had been the team’s primary punt returner for the majority of his NFL career, but the hope was for someone else, like Rogers, to step up and fill this position to decrease the chances of an injury to Brown.
Well, despite Rogers supposedly getting a clean slate from Mike Tomlin, per his weekly press conference, it’s being reported that Brown will be back returning punts at Heinz Field in Week 5 against the Jaguars.
Antonio Brown said he'll be returning punts, and Justin Hunter expects to be up again this week. Could affect Eli Rogers' lineup status once again. Rogers was inactive last week.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 6, 2017
The major variable in this equation isn’t Rogers or Brown, but Martavis Bryant. Bryant was a late addition to the team’s injury report with an illness. If he can’t play, it would mean Rogers will likely be an active member of the team come game time.
But if Bryant is able to play, you have to wonder if Rogers will be playing on Sunday at Heinz Field. The team gave Justin Hunter the chance to play last week and JuJu Smith-Schuster is slowly becoming an important member of the offense. If they’re planning on Brown returning kicks, you have to wonder what role Rogers would have if he were active on game day.
Decisions like this will make the inactive list must-see news, and you’ll find all of that news right here at BTSC.