The Pittsburgh Steelers are continuing their preparation for the 2021 season as they are set to face the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 of the NFL preseason Thursday night at 7:30 PM. While there were a number of Steelers who did not play in the Hall of Fame Game there will hopefully be less this week.
While head coach Mike Tomlin big not specifically mention any players by name who will not be playing on Thursday, there are several players who are assumed to not take the field. The following list is players who I project will not appear in the game. They are broken into categories such as highly likely (ones Coach Tomlin did not name, but implied), limited in practice (players who may not have enough time in to be prepared to play), and why take the risk (players who the coaches feel still may not need to see any time).
Here are the possibilities of who won’t see the field in Philadelphia on Thursday night:
QB Ben Roethlisberger- Coach Tomlin indirectly said Rothlisberger will not play in this game.
DT Cameron Heyward- He was called out by name last week, so the chances of him still being out this week are high.
CB Joe Haden- Duplicate everything said about Cam Heyward and it is the same for Haden.
Limited in Practice:
OLB T.J. Watt- If he’s not doing team work in practice, there’s no chance Watt is going to risk playing in the game.
DE Stephon Tuitt- It’s been a tough road for Tuitt and he has the full support of Steelers’ Nation. He’s not ready to get on the field yet.
RB Benny Snell- I don’t know what’s worse for Snell, having a bad performance or not having any performance at all due to injury. This week it is once again the latter scenario.
RB Kalen Ballage- After looking good last Thursday night, Ballage has yet to practice since experiencing a lower body injury in the Hall of Fame game.
DB Antoine Brooks Jr.- Not practicing since the last preseason game, it doesn’t look well for Brooks to make his push to be the nickel cornerback this week.
WR James Washington- After leaving practice early on Sunday, Washington has not been available since. I doubt he plays this week.
WR Ray-Ray McCloud- I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with McCloud, but he’s been on and off the practice field for some time now.
Why take the risk:
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster- I don’t know if the Steelers would want to get Smith-Schuster a series or not this game. It’s possible, but just as likely he sits.
S Minkah Fitzpatrick- I don’t think anyone in Steelers’ Nation needs to see Minkah Fitzpatrick in this game, so his appearance is somewhat unlikely.
DT Tyson Alualu- Just like last week, there are plenty of players on the defensive line who could easily fill in for the 34-year-old Alualu.
So there is a list of players I think will not be playing the Steelers Week 1 preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. How did I do? If there are anyone on the list you think will play? Are there other players I’m missing? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.