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Predicting the Steelers’ Week 3 inactive list vs. the 49ers

Which players will join Nix, Williams, and Chickillo on the inactive list Sunday?

NFL: SEP 17 Vikings at Steelers Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With Week 2 of the NFL season now in the past, Week 3 will have a much different feel for the Steelers. Both Ben Roethlisberger and Sean Davis have been placed on Injured Reserve and Minkah Fitzpatrick and Devlin Hodges are new to the 53-man roster. When it comes to the others on the inactive list, at least two more Steelers will join Hodges and Fitzpatrick in uniform for the first time in 2019 as three regulars have been ruled out for Sunday.

Game Status

FB Roosevelt Nix (knee)
ILB Vince Williams (hamstring)
OLB Anthony Chickillo (foot)

Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 3:


FB Roosevelt Nix- it’s the second week in a row the special teams captain was ruled out, and it may not be the last.

ILB Vince Williams- the more time Williams misses, the less likely he will have a starting position when he returns if Devin Bush and Mark Barron can hold down the linebacking duties.

OLB Anthony Chickillo- while his plantar fasciitis hindered Chickillo last season as well, this will be his first game missed since the 2016 season.

Most Likely:

DT Isaiah Buggs- even though two defenders have already been ruled out, none are defensive lineman so Buggs will sit yet again.

OT Chukwuma Okorafor- if the Steelers ever decide to go with an extra offensive lineman on game day, Chuks would probably be the guy. I just don’t know why they would do it in this game.

G Fred Johnson- hopefully Johnson can take the Zack Banner route of constant weekly inactive for one season before finding a bigger role in 2020.

CB Justin Layne- with Cameron Sutton and Artie Burns ahead of him on the depth chart and still rarely seeing the field, there is no use in giving Layne a helmet.


TE Zach Gentry- with Vince Williams out and no other ILB to fill in, someone else is going to get a helmet. There’s a chance it may be Gentry as the Steelers are using one of the other tight ends to fill in at fullback.

OLB Jayrone Elliott- Chickillo is out, so another OLB can take the spot. Enter Jayrone Elliott.


WR Donte Moncrief- I know many fans would like to see him not even get a helmet, but there’s no reason to do it this week. There’s actually an extra helmet floating around with the three players already ruled out and five others who have been inactive every week. There’s just no reason to activate someone else for the sake of sitting Moncrief through his struggles. Instead, he’ll sit on the bench.

Projected Inactive List:

  1. Roosevelt Nix
  2. Vince Williams
  3. Anthony Chickillo
  4. Isaiah Buggs
  5. Justin Layne
  6. Fred Johnson
  7. Chuks Okorafor

For the first time in 2019, it’s not about who’s going to be inactive rather than who is. Because of the three injuries, two new regular inactives have to get a helmet. I went with Elliott because he’s the outside linebacker and Gentry because he’s the only other person I could see being used for any reason. Plus the Rudolph-to-Gentry touchdown connection worked in preseason Week 1, so why not give it a go?

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