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Predicting the Steelers’ Week 17 inactive list vs. the Bengals

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It’s wouldn’t be unheard of for the Steelers to do a few unexpected things with the 46-man active roster to end the season.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

This was supposed to be the most difficult inactive list to predict this season. All seven spots should have been filled with players being rested for the playoffs. Instead, the regulars will be in the lineup. But will some guys toward the bottom get shuffled around just for the sake of getting a look at someone else?

Game Status

Doubtful:

LB Vince Williams(toe)

Questionable:

WR Antonio Brown (knee)

S Sean Davis (quad)

RB James Conner (ankle)

Roster Move

K Chris Boswell placed on IR

K Matt McCrane signed to active roster

Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 17:

Definitely:

None

Most Likely:

LB Vince Williams- every player who was listed as doubtful for the Steelers in 2018 has been inactive. With that said, Vince misses the finale.

QB Mason Rudolph- this was supposed to be the week Rudolph got to be dressed on the sidelines. It’s yet another reminder of what this week should have been.

OT Zach Banner- it could be the last time Banner is on the sidelines depending on the return of players from IR and anyone drafted for next season.

DT L.T. Walton- the regular guys will have to go this week, so L.T. will be looking to show what he can do in Latrobe in 2019.

Possibly:

S Marcus Allen, LB Ola Adeniyi, or CB Brian Allen- with Vince Williams being doubtful, one of these three guys should get a helmet since there are no other inside linebackers on the roster. If anybody else on the status report can’t go, other players from these three would probably fill-in.

RB Trey Edmunds or Stevan Ridley- if James Conner is able to return, one of these players will probably be inactive. Edmunds does bring special teams play on his resume, while Ridley had a game-changing fumble as his last time on the field.

S Sean Davis- after practicing fully on Friday, Davis said he would play.

WR Antonio Brown- although he didn’t practice all week with a knee issue, AB doesn’t need the reps at this point of the season to be ready to go. The fact he’s questionable shows the Steelers are hopeful he will be able to play.

Unlikely:

RB James Conner- being a full participant in practice all week, I’m surprised he carried a designation at all.

Projected Inactive List:

  1. Mason Rudolph
  2. Zach Banner
  3. L.T. Walton
  4. Marcus Allen
  5. Brian Allen
  6. Vince Williams
  7. Stevan Ridley

I must confess I fully expected another roster move on Saturday. I thought the Steelers would cut a running back and promote Matthew Thomas in order to have more depth at inside linebacker. Since no move was made, I’m going with Ola getting the helmet strictly to have a seventh linebacker who can play special teams. I also think Ridley finishes the season in the doghouse due to his costly fumble last week.

I’m optimistic all questionable players will be in uniform. The last time a questionable player didn’t play for the Steelers was Cam Sutton (personal) in Week 13. AB is the most questionable since he failed to practice, but he’s a competitor and will fight to get on the field if at all possible.

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