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Predicting the Steelers’ Week 15 inactive list vs. the Patriots

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It was an unusually busy Saturday when it came to the Steelers’ roster.

NFL: AFC Divisional Playoff-Jacksonville at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Some activity by the Steelers on Saturday afternoon was very telling for how the active roster may shape up for week 15. With James Connor being downgraded to doubtful, the Steelers have pretty much ruled him out. And the activation of Eli Rogers when it wasn’t necessary yet was quite interesting.

Game Status

Doubtful:

RB James Conner (ankle)

Questionable:

WR Ryan Switzer (ankle)

Roster Move

Eli Rogers activated from PUP

Marcus Gilbert placed on IR

Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 15:

Definitely:

None, now that Marcus Gilbert is on IR.

Most Likely:

QB Mason Rudolph- for more than a quarter it seemed Rudolph might be called into the back-up roll for this week. But apparently it was just a faulty x-ray machine.

OT Zach Banner- the Steelers are now down to eight offensive linemen, so Banner’s roster spot is safe. But him being active on game day still hadn’t changed.

DT L.T. Walton- a healthy D-line means Walton is on the sidelines yet again.

RB James Conner- it was disappointing to see his status change on Saturday. His ankle must not have responded well to his limited work on Friday. Maybe next week.

S Marcus Allen- some wanted Allen to be active against the Patriots due to his size and strength. But the lack of playing time in 2018 shows he’s not ready to be a part of the game plan.

Possibly:

CB Brian Allen or LB Ola Adeniyi- it was a surprise when Ola was on the inactive list last week, so it looks like the Steelers may keep their three-man rotation at outside linebacker. Apparently Allen gives more special teams output.

WR Ryan Switzer- he didn’t show up on the injury report until Friday, which makes it difficult to read if Switzer can play. But the activation of Eli Rogers makes Switzer’s availability less likely.

Unlikely:

WR James Washington- if the Steelers activated Eli Rogers because they wanted to replace James Washington, I don’t know what they’re thinking. He will continue to improve for them as long as he gets the opportunity. He should be active.

WR Eli Rogers- since they did not have to activate him from PUP until next week, there would be no reason to add him to the roster if he was not going to play.

Projected Inactive List:

  1. Mason Rudolph
  2. Zach Banner
  3. L.T. Walton
  4. Marcus Allen
  5. Ola Adeniyi
  6. James Conner
  7. Ryan Switzer

I really would like Conner and Switzer to play, but both moves on Saturday indicated otherwise. If Conner would have been available, Eli Rogers would have probably been replacing Trey Edmonds on the roster. And since the move could have waited until next week, the Steelers must be concerned about Switzer’s availability. I also think Brian Alan gets a helmet because the Steelers will need more depth in the secondary since they may be playing their package was seven defensive backs.

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