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

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With no players carrying an injury status, the Steelers have some tough decisions to make as to who will dress for the game

Miami Dolphins v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Of course there are the players who are on injured reserve for the Steelers in 2019. But of the players actively on the Steelers 53-man roster not one single player carries injury status going into their Week 16 game against the New York Jets. With all players available, it will be one of the rare times during the season where the Steelers inactive list will be made completely of healthy scratches. So who will be left out of the action on Sunday?


Game Status

None


Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 16:

Definitely:

None- this area is reserved for players who have already been ruled out, so being blank is a good thing.

Most Likely:

QB Paxton Lynch- with Devlin Hodges throwing 4 interceptions last Sunday, many feel he will have a short leash in Week 16 in case he has a repeat performance. In typical fashion, some fans were ready to move on to the next man and thought Lynch would be it. But it was Mason Rudolph who had an increased number of snaps and practice this week, so Lynch will watch from the sidelines again.

OT Chukwuma Okorafor- unless the Steelers want to make an unannounced shake up on the offensive line, Chuks is out yet again.

LB Tuzar Skipper- with many fans anxiously awaiting his regular season debut for the Steelers, no injuries have slowed the outside linebackers so Skipper remains an insurance policy.

CB Artie Burns- after two weeks of being a healthy scratch, there’s no reason to think the Steelers will change their philosophy for this week.

TE Zach Gentry- after getting his first reception of the year, Gentry looks to go back to the sidelines as Vance McDonald returns from his concussion.

Possibly:

RB Trey Edmunds- if the Steelers opt to only go with four running backs, is very possible that Edmunds would be the odd man out. Although he has lined up at fullback when needed, he only saw one snap on offense in Week 15.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster- although he carries no injury status, there was a report that JuJu is still waiting to see if his knee responds properly in order to play. Therefore he is not beyond the realm of possibility to be inactive.

WR Amara Darboh- if JuJu Smith-Schuster is able to go, Darboh would be the prime candidate to not get a helmet since he was just promoted to the active roster this week.

DL Isaiah Buggs- it was surprising to see the Steelers go with only for defensive lineman against the Bills. If they are wanting to squeeze an extra player somewhere else, Buggs could find himself without a helmet again.

S Marcus Allen- he has been on the Steelers practice squad all season, but with Allen only being promoted to the active roster on Friday he could be on the sidelines if the Steelers feel they can get by with only three safeties.

Unlikely:

CB Justin Layne- the precedent has been set with Layne getting the helmet over Burns, so it’s unlikely they make another change unless his play on the field deems it necessary

RB Kerrith Whyte Jr. or Benny Snell Jr.- if the Steelers go with only four running backs, either of these players could be who sits. But with both of their various special team contributions along with an added dimension on offense, they probably have an inside track to dress on Sunday.


Projected Inactive List:

  1. Paxton Lynch
  2. Chuks Okorafor
  3. Zach Gentry
  4. Tuzar Skipper
  5. Artie Burns
  6. Amara Darboh
  7. Isaiah Buggs

It’s the bottom of the list which is difficult to figure out. I don’t see the Steelers going with six wide receivers and five running backs, so someone had to be on the list. Hoping JuJu is ready to play, Darboh is the obvious choice. As much as I wanted to put Trey Edmunds on the list, the surprise of going with five running backs in favor of Buggs last week makes me think the Steelers could try it again. But there are several players who could end up being in those final two spots.

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