The Steelers have a nice luxury for their game on Monday night in having the maximum number of players to choose from when it comes to determining which players are active for their game against the Dolphins. For the first time in 2019, no players are ruled out or considered doubtful for the game. While three players are listed as questionable, there is a good chance all three of them could dress. It would be the first time in a long time the Steelers would have seven healthy scratches as their inactives. With all things considered, predicting the inactive list is very tricky for Week 8.
ILB Mark Barron (hamstring)
RB Jaylen Samuels (knee)
LB Ulysees Gilbert III (back)
Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 8:
None. This spot is reserved for players ruled out for Monday’s game, and for the first time since Week 1 this category is empty.
QB Paxton Lynch- the other thing the Steelers haven’t done since Week 1 was have a healthy quarterback on the roster who will be inactive. Since the Steelers have kept Paxton Lynch as their third QB, he will get to be in street clothes Monday night.
OT Chukwuma Okorafor- it was a one-week stent of dressing in Week 6 for Chuks as the Steelers had six players ruled out with one healthy scratch. But with Week 8 being the polar opposite, Okorafor goes back to the inactive list with no snaps on the season .
CB Justin Layne- getting a helmet the last four games, Layne will be one of the players who will most likely go back to the inactive list if all other Steelers are healthy.
ILB Mark Barron- being on the injury report, Baron has a chance to be rested for another week. Although he practiced fully both Thursday and Saturday, he was limited on Friday.
RB Jaylen Samuels or Trey Edmunds- there there’s no reason to dress for running backs plus a full back on Monday. Edmunds would be the odd man out for sure if Samuels is ready to go only three weeks after his surgery.
DL Isaiah Buggs or L.T. Walton- one of these guys has to be inactive as the Steelers generally only carry five defensive lineman on game days. Even in Week 6 when there was only one healthy scratch, it was still Buggs who didn’t get a helmet. Whether or not they have Walton or Buggs higher on the depth chart will be answered Monday 90 minutes before kickoff.
TE Zach Gentry- it seems as if Gentry is only going to be active if it makes sense with other players sitting out. In this scenario, the Steelers are looking for guys to put on the list so Gentry is a strong possibility.
WR Donte Moncrief- This may be the most interesting story among the inactives for Week 8. Moncrief got a helmet in Week 6 with James Washington being out. He played 14 snaps and had two targets with one reception for 11 yards. If he is inactive this week, that may have been his last catch as a Steeler.
LB Ulysees Gilbert III- being new to the injury report on Saturday, Gilbert was limited due to a back injury. But leading the team and special team snap says makes one think that if he’s able, he will go on Monday.
OLB T.J. Watt- this was supposed to be the biggest question coming out of the bye. But after two straight practices fully participating to end the week, Watt does not even have an injury designation.
OLB Jayrone Elliott- with Watt expected to play, the Steelers could try to get by with only three OLB’s. On the other hand, having an extra body at the position would be nice if Watt can’t continue or if they want to give him some rest. With Anthony Chickillo on the commissioners exempt list, Elliot should be fairly safe to play Monday.
Projected Inactive List:
- Paxton Lynch
- Trey Edmunds
- Chuks Okorafor
- Isaiah Buggs
- Justin Layne
- Dionte Moncrief
- Zach Gentry
This was a very difficult list to predict. I decided to go with all questionable players getting a helmet which may not happen. I was also torn as I wanted to give Isaiah Buggs the nod over L.T. Walton, but when Buggs didn’t even get a helmet in Week 6 I’m not going to predict him being active until I see it happen or there are only five defensive lineman available. I also think Donte Moncrief days are numbered in Pittsburgh and being inactive Monday would show it. But he or Gentry could be active if Mark Barron is unable to play.
As always, feel free to list your projected inactives (even if it’s just one spot) in the comments below.