With Week 1 of the NFL season under our belt, there were many things the Steelers told us about their team for 2019. While many focused on the on-field action, I’m taking their inactive list from last week assuming it gave a pretty decent snapshot of what the Steelers are planning to do each week. As usual, injuries always factor in heavily. But for this week, only one player is ruled out while two others are questionable.
FB Roosevelt Nix (knee)
C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle)
CB Joe Haden (shoulder)
Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 2:
FB Roosevelt Nix- he was already ruled out with a knee injury for Week 2 and possibly beyond.
DT Isaiah Buggs- taking on the role filled by L.T. Walton in 2018, Buggs probably does not get a helmet anytime soon unless there is another defense of lineman out for the week
TE Zach Gentry- the Steelers showed last week they weren’t interested in Gentry getting a helmet or, for that matter, having the tight ends factor much in the game plan. While the tight ends will look to get more involved this week, I don’t see any reason for things to change activation-wise for Week 2.
OT Chukwuma Okorafor- It seems Chuks was just as surprised as I was at his being in active last Sunday. But if Banner won the swing tackle role, Okorafor is not getting a helmet unless there’s an injury at tackle.
C Maurkice Pouncey or G Fred Johnson- while I believe Pouncey will suit up for Sunday, if he does not then B.J. Finney will be the starting center. If so, Johnson will get the nod over Chuks because of the need for a reserve guard.
CB Joe Haden or Justin Layne- although I was tempted to say Lane does not get a helmet even if Haden is out, I don’t know the Steelers would go with only four corners in one game. So if Hayden doesn’t go, I guess Layne will.
OLB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi or Jayrone Elliott- only dressing three outside linebackers all of last season, there is very little chance the Steelers would dress five. While I project it will be Elliott who is out, it’s hard to say for sure with him being a new player since the Steelers’ last game.
ILB Ulysees Gilbert III- dressing a fifth linebacker is a luxury, but the Steelers were able to do it last week. Once Nix returns, this is a position which could be in danger. But for this week Gilbert should be just fine since he led the team in special-teams snaps last week with 23.
WR Johnny Holton- while it’s uncharacteristic the Steelers dressed six wide receivers last Sunday, they did it at the expense of a tight end. I feel that Holton is the last guy available, especially since he only played 10 special team snaps in Week 1. If the Steelers ever decide to go with five, Holton would probably sit.
Projected Inactive List:
- Roosevelt Nix
- Isaiah Buggs
- Justin Layne
- Fred Johnson
- Chuks Okorafor
- Zach Gentry
- Jayrone Elliott
If not for the questionable status of Maurkice Pouncey and Joe Haden, I would feel extremely confident in this inactive list. The only difference from last week is Roosevelt Nix and Jayrone Elliott in place of Sean Davis and Joshua Dobbs. With Dobbs being traded to Jacksonville earlier this week, this will be the first Steelers’ inactive list in a very, very long time where there is not a quarterback.
The reason I went with Jayrone Elliott with the last spot was due to his recent addition to the 53-man roster. If he was one of the top 46 players on the Steelers, he would’ve been signed initially. Therefore he will probably be inactive unless there is an injury or a lack of production at the outside linebacker position.
As always, feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.