A change in the 53-man roster makes the inactive list quite telling this week. Will Marcus Allen finally make his debut, or will the newly-added Brian Allen’s special teams experience give him the advantage?
S Morgan Burnett (Groin)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle)
LB Vince Williams
Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 5:
Once again nobody has been ruled out, but a “doubtful” designation has been the same thing for the Steelers in 2018.
QB Mason Rudolph- Josh Dobbs could sprain an ankle walking into the stadium, but I doubt it.
S Morgan Burnett- I sound like a broken record: his weekly progress was in the wrong direction. Burnett will be out again.
LB Vince Williams- he didn’t practice all week. There isn’t much hope that he will dress Sunday.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey- it’s the same story as Vince. Hey-Bey was out all week, so playing this weekend isn’t likely to happen.
DT L.T. Walton- The defensive line is healthy again this week, so Walton one again ends up being the guy to sit this one out.
OT Zach Banner- he needs two linemen to be hurt in order to dress, and this week there are none.
OT Matt Feiler- last week the Steelers did dress an eighth lineman because their inactive list was already pretty full. It’s pretty full this week as well, but depth in other areas and special teams play may factor in more.
S Marcus Allen- it’s very difficult to determine if the Steelers are interested in dressing this Allen. Because he hasn’t played at all, it’s hard to say if there’s any special teams value or positional depth he brings. Nat Burhe went on the IR this week and was replaced on the roster with a corner, so being a safety could help his cause.
CB Brian Allen- he just moved from the practice squad to the main roster and has special teams experience from last season. It’s strange that he could not be on the 53, but once promoted jump ahead of others that are still waiting for a helmet.
WR Justin Hunter- it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for the Steelers to go into the game with only four WR’s, especially with Ryan Switzer emerging as more than just a return man. Even though he brings nothing to special teams, Hunter will probably dress for depth and may even get a handful of snaps on offense.
OT Marcus Gilbert- he did miss one practice this week with his injured hamstring, but didn’t end up with a designated game status. Unless something unexpected arises, Gilbert should be good to go.
Projected Inactive List:
- Mason Rudolph
- Morgan Burnett
- Vince Williams
- Darrius Heyward-Bey
- L.T. Walton
- Zach Banner
- Marcus Allen
I thought Marcus Allen was ready to get a helmet last week. For the Steelers chose to give it to Matt Feiler and his zero snaps for the game, it’s quite obvious that they don’t feel ready to use him even on special teams. Therefore, I think Brian Allen gets the helmet ahead of Marcus to help replace the special teams void left by Darius Heyward-Bey. Unless one of the doubtful players is somehow ready on Sunday, the Steelers carry the extra lineman in Feiler.
Feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.