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Predicting the Steelers’ Week 4 inactive list vs. the Bengals

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

Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers are looking to finish up the first quarter of the 2019 season with a win against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. It would be the Steelers first one of the season and it would be the shot in the arm this team could really use before a couple tough matchup’s heading into the bye. Unfortunately, several key players have already been ruled out or are highly unlikely to play. Regardless of who is active and who is not, the Steelers need to salvage a victory to stay in striking distance in the AFC North.

Game Status

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

TE Vance McDonald (shoulder)

OLB Jayrone Elliott (hamstring)

Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 4:


FB Roosevelt Nix- although I feel the return of Nix could help bolster the Steelers running game, it is unclear if he would even be properly used in order to help. For now it doesn’t matter as he continues to miss games with his knee injury.

ILB Vince Williams- believe it or not, this one really hurts. Last week the Steelers’ defense showed how important Williams was in stopping the run. Hopefully they can get the job done without him against the last place rushing offense in the league.

OLB Anthony Chickillo- the fact his foot injury is still affecting him to miss multiple games in 2019 goes to show Chickillo should not have been signed in the off-season if this injury was going to continue to be an issue.

Most Likely:

TE Vance McDonald- I’m not exactly sure why the Steelers even bothered to use a doubtful designation as these players have not been active over the last few years. Not practicing at all this week, McDonald just isn’t going to be ready to play in this game.

G Fred Johnson- while the final three spots are up in the air as to who will not get a helmet, Johnson is the ninth offensive lineman. So out of everybody else, he would be the last person chosen.


OLB Jayrone Elliott- because he was on the injury report he needs to at least be considered to be inactive. But with Chickillo out coupled with the fact Elliott did not completely miss any days this week means he should be active the second straight week.

DT Isaiah Buggs- it would really be something to see Buggs active one of these days. It just doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now with all the defensive linemen healthy.

OT Chukwuma Okorafor- I wouldn’t be shocked if the Steelers would start carrying an extra lineman if they only have two tight ends available. But until they make that decision, Chuks is also the odd guy out.

WR Donte Moncrief- this will be a very telling week for Moncrief. If he is inactive again this week with really no reason other than being in Tomlin’s doghouse, this would be the first indication that he is on his way out of town.


CB Justin Layne- I didn’t expect Lane to be active at all in 2019 unless a corner was injured. But with so many injuries at other positions, his special teams play has made it to where giving him a hat is not unreasonable.

Projected Inactive List:

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

For me, The decision came down to the final two spots with Buggs, Okorafor, and Moncrief. I was extremely tempted to give the extra spot to the lineman, but with only two tight ends, the Steelers might have more need of receiver then an extra blocker. Last week I didn’t expect Justin Layne to be active, so maybe the Steelers have another surprise in Week 4.

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