Last Monday evening did not start off on a very good foot for both me and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was pulling our what little hair I have remaining as the Steelers had one more player in active than what they needed for their Week 1 game. After addressing the issue at his press conference on Tuesday, I believe head coach Mike Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers organization now know exactly how many players need to be on the inactive list going forward.
In the Steelers defense, 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. So unless the Steelers elevate any players from their practice squad, there inactive list should only be five players.
NOTE: If there is an elevation of a player from the practice squad after the release of the projected inactives, it will be updated to reflect the move.
G David DeCastro (knee)
* G Stefen Wisniewski (chest) was originally ruled out but has since been placed on the Reserve/Injured List
Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 2:
G David DeCastro- Already ruled out for the game, the best Steelers fans can hope for is DeCastro’s return for Week 3 against the Houston Texans.
QB Josh Dobbs- Although this selection could basically be definite, there could always be an illness or something which sneaks up where Dobbs would then be active. Otherwise, he gets to stand on the sidelines again.
DT Carlos Davis- Not getting a helmet in Week 1 helped solidify exactly where the Steelers place Davis on the depth chart. While he did surprise and make the 53-man roster, he was the odd man out and will be again this week.
TE Zach Gentry- I projected Gentry to be inactive last week, which he was. With the Steelers two tight ends only having two receptions between them, Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron need all the snaps they can get to get going.
LB Ulysees Gilbert III- Since he was inactive last week in what was a big shock to a lot of Steeler fans, it is highly likely Gilbert will not get a helmet again in Week 2. But if the Steelers wouldn’t have messed up their inactive list, would UG3 have been the guy to dress?
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.- The other surprise on the inactive list in Week 1 was the rookie running back. With the Steelers hopefully not messing up the list this week, McFarland might be the guy if there any concerns over James Conner‘s health.
CB James Pierre- Although I thought he would be inactive last week for sure, the Steelers dressed all six cornerbacks last week. Getting seven special team snaps, Pierre will most likely get a helmet this season until the Steelers show they have no need for the extra corner.
Projected Inactive List:
- David DeCastro
- Josh Dobbs
- Carlos Davis
- Zach Gentry
- Ulysees Gilbert III
Last week I was fairly confident with my first four picks only to be incorrect. This week I’m feeling the same way with the top four and the final spot comes down to Gilbert or McFarland. I would not be shocked either way, but with James Connor missing time already in Week 1, I think the Steelers should consider carrying the extra running back.
As always, feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.