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Predicting the Steelers Week 2 inactive list vs. the Chiefs

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Injuries will be the main factor behind who dresses for the home opener.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As the season gets rolling, the injury report will be a driving factor behind what players will make up the seven-man inactive list. Here is the official game status for Sunday:

Game Status

Doubtful:

CB Joe Haden (Hamstring)

G David DeCastro (Hand)

DE Tyson Alualu (Shoulder)

Questionable:

QB Ben Roethlisberger (Elbow)

CB Artie Burns (Toe)

TE Vance McDonald (Foot)

DE Cam Heyward (Knee)

Here are the candidates to end up inactive for Week 2:

Definitely:

This section is reserved for players that have been ruled out. As of Friday, no players carry that designation.

Most Likely:

QB Mason Rudolph- the only way that Rudolph gets helmet is if Ben is unable to play.

OT Zach Banner- last week showed us that the Steelers only plan on dressing seven offensive linemen unless there is a special circumstance. Until injuries mount up, Banner will continue to develop in practice only.

CB Joe Hayden- after leaving the game early last week and failing to practice at all for this week, I’m surprised Hayden wasn’t already ruled out. It would be super-shocking if he is active on game day so Coty Sensabaugh should move back into the rotation.

DE Tyson Alualu- with a doubtful designation and being limited in practice on Friday, it looks as if Alualu will be held out of the game and LT Walton will get the helmet instead.

S Marcus Allen- he was the odd man out at safety last week and all the remaining players ahead of him are still healthy.

Possibly:

G David DeCastro or Matt Feiler- out of all the players that are listed as doubtful, DeCastro has the best chance of playing. It all comes down to if the swelling in his hand decreases enough for them to put on a cast. If he can’t go, Feiler will take the backup role as Finney would move into the starting lineup.

WR Justin Hunter, WR James Washington, or TE Xavier Grimble- with the return of Vance McDonald, there is an extra receiver position that the team will most likely not be able to carry. Do they roll with only two TE’s like last week or do they not need six WR’s?

Unlikely:

QB Ben Roethlisberger- he was a full participant practice on Friday. Unless he has a setback, I don’t think that he will miss this game.

DE Cam Heyward- he was a full participant both Thursday and Friday. It would be a surprise to see him inactive on Sunday.

TE Vance McDonald- I’m not sure why he’s even on the status list. He was a full participant all week and appears to have had no setbacks.

CB Artie Burns- he was a late addition to the injury report after being limited on Friday with a toe. But with Joe Haden most likely not being able to go, it would take a lot to keep him out of the game.

Projected Inactive List:

  1. Mason Rudolph
  2. Zach Banner
  3. Joe Hayden
  4. Tyson Alualu
  5. David DeCastro
  6. Marcus Allen
  7. Justin Hunter

I have all players that are doubtful as not playing while all questionable players dress for the game. When it came to who to sit in place of Vance McDonald, I really hope it’s Justin Hunter. James Washington should have his role increasing by the week and Hunter just doesn’t bring much versatility or combativeness.

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