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Predicting the Steelers’ Week 16 inactive list vs. the Saints

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One questionable status is the only real unknown ahead of Sunday’s game.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The inactive list last week hinted at part of the offensive game plan when every wide receiver got a helmet. A similar approach could be taken this week if JuJu is available. If not, I hope the Saints are guessing what the Steelers are going to do as much as the fans will be.

Game Status

Out:

RB James Conner (ankle)

Questionable:

WR JuJu Smith–Schuster (groin)

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

Definitely:

RB James Conner- when testing his ankle in a limited fashion last Friday led to a downgrade in his game status the next day, it was going to be a stretch for Conner to make it back this week.

Most Likely:

QB Mason Rudolph- chances are things won’t be decided for the Steelers going into Week 17, so Rudolph won’t be able to “run, run” into an active status for 2018 barring injury.

OT Zach Banner- does anybody else enjoy watching Banner come on the field to congratulate the FG/PAT team? Watch for it.

DT L.T. Walton- luckily Cam Heyward is good to go against the Saints, so Walton is out again.

S Marcus Allen- at least he got one game in 2018.

LB Ola Adeniyi- at least he got... I guess I shouldn’t use the same line again. I’ll try this: at least he’s getting work on the 53.

Possibly:

CB Brian Allen or WR JuJu Smith-Schuster- of the five other players in the “most likely” category, it seems Brian Allen would be the first to get a helmet if someone from a position with no more reserves can’t go. In this case, JuJu Smith-Schuster carries the questionable status. With no other receiver to take his place, Brian Allen gives the most special teams experience.

Unlikely:

None. With the exception of injuries, the Steelers are fairly certain who they’re going to have available for their game-day 46.

Projected Inactive List:

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

When in doubt, go with what you really, really want. And I really hope JuJu can play in this game. If we can believe his own Twitter, then JuJu will dress. It’s not only about having the extra receiver, it’s more about the special player Smith–Schuster has become in less than two seasons.

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