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Predicting the Steelers’ Week 10 inactive list vs. the Rams

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All players on the injury report are from the offensive side of the ball.

NFL: NOV 03 Colts at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers are a tale of two sides of the ball yet again for Week 10. While the defense has nobody on the injury report, the offense is looking pretty thin at running back. Four players have already been ruled out, three of which would be classified as running backs. It will be curious to see exactly how the Steelers adjust on offense with no fullback yet again. Add in the fact JuJu Smith-Schuster is questionable, the Steelers may have to make a roster move on saturday if they fear JuJu won’t be able to go. With only three spots open at most for players who are healthy scratches, look for most of them to come from the defensive side of the ball.


Game Status

Out:
RB Benny Snell Jr. (knee)
G Ramon Foster (concussion)
RB James Conner (shoulder)
FB Roosevelt Nix (knee)

Questionable:
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (foot)


Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 10:

Definitely:

RB Benny Snell Jr.- it remains to be seen how soon Snell will be available after his knee surgery. It’s definitely not this week.

G Ramon Foster- the week started off well for Foster as he got back to practice on Wednesday and was reported he expected to play this week. But some sort of setback occurred and he is out again with a concussion for the second straight week.

RB James Conner- much like Foster, Conner seemed to believe he would be returning this week as he at least practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday. But that was his lone practice for the week, so Conner will need at least a few more days before he can return.

FB Roosevelt Nix- this situation is pretty frustrating all around. Between the organization, player, and fans, we all want to see Nix on the field. Maybe on Thursday.

Most Likely:

QB Paxton Lynch- there would have to be a concern at the quarterback position or seven players already ruled out in order for Lynch to be active again.

DL L.T. Walton- when the Steelers only had one healthy scratch in Week 6, it was still a defensive lineman who did not dress. With that standard being set, I don’t see any way Walton is active Sunday.

Possibly:

CB Justin Layne- with four players already ruled out, and two more fairly certain inactives in Lynch and Walton, Layne is fighting with several other players to get a helmet and not be the last spot on the list. Unfortunately, unless JuJu can’t go, he’s probably number seven and won’t get a helmet.

LB Robert Spillane- just promoted to the 53-man roster this week, Spillane would be used strictly to fill the void Ulysees Gilbert III left on special teams. While Layne could possibly be the player active instead, Spillane fits the mold of what would need to be filled with the loss of Gilbert.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster- since he’s on the status report as questionable, JuJu has to at least be mentioned as a possibility of being inactive. A bigger indication would be if the Steelers made a roster move for another wide receiver on Saturday rather than just having Smith-Schuster inactive. If not, chances are he will play Sunday.

TE Zach Gentry- the best thing going for Gentry is so many other players on offense being out. Simply just to have more numbers as possibilities on that side of the ball, Gentry could very well get a helmet against the Rams.

Unlikely:

DT Isaiah Buggs- the only way he will be inactive is if Walton passed him on the depth chart. I’m not making that move until after the Steelers do.


Projected Inactive List:

  1. Benny Snell Jr
  2. Ramon Foster
  3. James Conner
  4. Roosevelt Nix
  5. Paxton Lynch
  6. L.T. Walton
  7. Justin Layne

It all came down to the last spot. I am banking on the fact that JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to be able to play. If so, I’d like to see Spillane get a chance to show what he can do on special teams and let the Steelers sit the rookie Layne yet again.

As always, feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.