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Predicting the Steelers’ Week 14 inactive list vs. Buffalo

There are still some evolving factors which will determine who does and doesn’t get a helmet Sunday night.

Denver Broncos v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are set the face off against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football. Unlike last week when the Steelers had to add players to get up to 53, this week they are actually over the limit going into Sunday. Even after promoting linebacker Tegray Scales from the practice squad, the Steelers have 55 players on their active roster when they should only have 54. Where it’s tricky for Sunday night’s game is why they have the extra player. If it is due to the roster exemption with the return of Maurkice Pouncey from the Reserve/COVID-19 List, there will have to be a move made prior to the game. But if the extra spot is because newly signed outside linebacker Cassius Marsh has not cleared the Covid protocol yet, the move could be done later. I wish I new the exact reason to report, but the information is not being shared at this time.

There are new rules in 2020 when it comes to the players active on game day. As long as a team has eight offensive lineman who will be dressing for the game, they could have 48 players on their active roster rather than the 46 in previous seasons. Since the Steelers elevated one player from their practice squad, their inactive list should be six players.

NOTE: If there is a change to the projected number of inactive players after the release of the projected inactives, it will be updated to reflect the move.

Game Status

CB Joe Haden (concussion)

Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 14:


CB Joe Haden- Unable to practice all week, there is no guarantee Haden can clear the protocol for next week either.

Most Likely:

QB Josh Dobbs- It will be 13 for 13.

TE Kevin Rader- Believe it or not, when the Steelers have to make a roster cut Rader could be the guy on the chopping block.

OT Derwn Gray- With all members of the offensive line back and healthy, Gray goes back to his normal spot on the inactive list.


DT Isaiah Buggs- Although he got a helmet last week, the Steelers have been dressing an extra defensive lineman. There is a decent possibility two players end up inactive from this position group.

DT Carlos Davis- I probably should have put Davis in the most likely category, but there is a chance the Steelers pick a different defensive lineman each week based on the matchup.

S Antoine Brooks Jr.- With the Steelers thin at inside linebacker, I thought Brooks would possibly be a candidate to fill in more in sub packages. But every time I expect him to play more, he ends up inactive. We’ll see what happens for Week 14.


DT Henry Mondeaux- Outside of the first four defensive linemen, it could be whoever the Steelers feel like each week. I still think it will be Mondeaux for special teams as I’ve been saying this several weeks now.

LB Jayrone Elliott- The Steelers are going to have someone inactive, and Elliott has been on the list in the past. For now, he most likely gets a helmet until Cassius Marsh possibly nabs his spot.

Projected Inactive List:

  1. Joe Haden
  2. Josh Dobbs
  3. Kevin Rader
  4. Derwin Gray
  5. Carlos Davis
  6. Isaiah Buggs

First of all, this list is based on no roster move made on Sunday. If there isn’t one, I believe Cassius Marsh is not eligible to play. But if he is, I see him ending up on the inactive list as he would have no time practicing with the team. While Avery Williamson did get a helmet after being activated following his trade, that was another team’s starter coming to the Steelers where this is someone off the practice squad. If the Steelers do have to release a player and it is one of the players on this list, I believe Marsh would be the player filling out the six.

As for the players chosen, Buffalo has become much more of a passing threat than with the run, so having six defensive linemen doesn’t seem as necessary this week. Therefore I have two players from the position group on the list with the other usual suspects making up the five healthy scratches.

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