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Predicting the Steelers’ Week 12 inactive list vs. the Broncos

One questionable player makes a big difference in who will dress against Denver.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The same two players have been ruled out two weeks in a row. The good news is Anthony Chickillo appears to be completely healthy, therefore no roster move was necessary. The bad news is two players at the exact same position are on the game status report which is quite concerning.

Game Status

Out:

OT Marcus Gilbert (knee)

DT Stephon Tuitt (elbow)

Questionable:

OT Matt Feiler (pectoral)

Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 12:

Definitely:

OT Marcus Gilbert- I’m surprised Mike Tomlin hasn’t been asked if Gilbert had surgery on his knee. Since the Steelers aren’t required to disclose medical procedures, I doubt Tomlin would answer the question if it were the case.

DT Stephon Tuitt- although I was hopeful Tuitt would return this week, my hopes faded each day from Wednesday on as the “DNP” continued to be his designation.

Most Likely:

QB Mason Rudolph- as much as it would be nice to see what Rudolph can do in 2018, it’s even nicer the Steelers haven’t been forced to call on him.

S Marcus Allen- with Chickillo practicing fully every day, Allen’s roster spot is safe for at least one more week.

CB Brian Allen- it was speculated by some that Brian would be the Allen who would be cut if another OLB was needed for Sunday. We may never know how the Steeler’s would have handled the roster move.

WR Justin Hunter- even though James Washington isn’t lighting the world on fire, he needs the game reps more than Hunter if both of their services were needed at a later date.

Possibly:

OT Matt Feiler or LB Matthew Thomas- after sitting out practice on Wednesday, Feiler was limited the other two practices this week. If he can play, the Steelers could choose to sit Thomas who has averaged only 8.75 special-teams snaps per game since the bye week.

Unlikely:

OT Zach Banner- I’m going out on a limb and saying Banner gets the helmet regardless of Matt Feiler’s status. If Feiler gives it a go at all, having the extra lineman in case of a re-aggravation would be the wise move.

Projected Inactive List:

  1. Mason Rudolph
  2. Marcus Allen
  3. Brian Allen
  4. Marcus Gilbert
  5. Stephon Tuitt
  6. Justin Hunter
  7. Matthew Thomas

I’ve got so many of these right this season, it’s time to do something crazy just to see what happens. Under normal circumstances, I would think that Feiler would be inactive. But when the alternative is starting the third string tackle, the Steelers might want to see if he can go by getting some in-game action. By doing so, it would be the smart move to carry the extra lineman with Banner. Thomas just seems to be the most expendable player left.

Feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.