It’s surprising how healthy the Steelers are at this point of the season. With no players ruled out and only three names on the status report, the Steelers are in much better shape than the Ravens. Baltimore already has three players out (including both starting offensive tackles), and seven other players are questionable for the game Sunday.
OT Marcus Gilbert
CB Coty Sensabaugh
CB Artie Burns
Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 9:
OT Marcus Gilbert- it looked as if Gilbert would be back for this week. But going from a full participant on Wednesday, limited on Thursday, followed by not practicing Friday should make him inactive.
QB Mason Rudolph- “He’s not doing anything his rookie season! Why did the Steelers waste a pick on him?” Do you see how silly it looks when asking this of any rookie?
DT L.T. Walton- personally, I think Walton would be active for most teams in the NFL. I still think he gets a shot at some point this season due to a (hopefully minor) injury of someone along the way.
OT Zach Banner- he seems to be both a developmental project and insurance for the 2019 season. The best thing going for the Steelers right now is they know what Banner can do while no other team can see what happens at practice.
S Marcus Allen- at this point, Allen should be grateful that he’s getting the 53-Man roster salary and not the practice squad salary.
WR James Washington or Justin Hunter- if this is truly a “two dogs one bone” situation, Justin Hunter did not do much for his cause this past week. With the report of James Washington getting more practice reps this week than in the past, this could be his week to show what he’s got.
CB Brian Allen, Artie Burns, or Coty Sensabaugh- this choice comes down to injury more than anything. If either Burns or Sensabaugh can’t go, then Allen would move into their spot. If not, Brian Allen will be out again.
LB Matthew Thomas- he’s been active every game this season, but the snaps on defense have been only in mop-up duty. If there is a situation where the Steelers need to carry more of another position (such as offensive line or receiver), Thomas could be the odd man out.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey- it’s not beyond the realm of possibility of Hey-Bey being in the rotation with Hunter and Washington to show who’s going to be the final wide receiver. The fact he missed a few games due to injury and he is the special-teams ace of the three, most likely it’s just the other two who are fighting for the spot.
Projected Inactive List:
- Mason Rudolph
- L.T. Walton
- Zach Banner
- Marcus Allen
- Marcus Gilbert
- Justin Hunter
- Brian Allen
This prediction is exactly the same as last week. With Gilbert most likely being out again, the only questions are at corner and wide receiver. Sensabaugh was trending upward all week, so I think the bigger question mark is with Artie Burns since his injury occurred on Friday. It’s a coin flip with him. If Gilbert can go, I think Matthew Thomas fills his spot because the Steelers would want Feiler active in case Gilbert’s injury would be reaggravated in-game.
As for wide receiver, I’m personally pulling for James Washington. There is so much more potential with him at the position. We know what Justin Hunter is and it’s all he’s going to be. Hopefully last week was the wake-up call Washington needed and he can explode this week if given the opportunity.
If both Burns and Sensabaugh can’t go, look for all of the wide receivers to be active. If the Steelers decided wanted to give both receivers a shot at the same time, Matthew Thomas would be the best candidate to not be active.
Feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.