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Predicting the Steelers’ inactive list for Week 10 vs. the Saints

The players who are currently questionable for Sunday’s game will go a long way in shaping the list.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at home for the first time in almost a month as they host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. As the season rolls on, the true nature of the depth chart had come much more into focus, but injuries are still a driving force when it comes to the inactive list every week. For Week 10, the Steelers are extremely likely to still have at least one roster move coming ahead of the 4 PM deadline on Saturday.

The rules in the 2022 season when it comes to the players active on game day have been carried over from the last two seasons. 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. If the Steelers elevate any players from their practice squad, their inactive list would increase by the same number of players. Whether or not the Steelers add any practice squad players this week most likely comes down to one of the questionable player’s perceived availability by the 4 PM deadline.

Game Status

CB William Jackson III (back)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring)
UPDATE: S Minkah Fitzpatrick (appendix)

G Kevin Dotson (abdomen)
CB Malik Reed (NIR)

Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for the Steelers against the Saints on Sunday:


CB William Jackson III- The fact Jackson missed every practice this week and he’s missing his first game since being traded to the Steelers is not going to sit well with many in Steelers’ Nation.

CB Ahkello Witherspoon- After missing four games with a hamstring injury only to come back for a half, seeing Witherspoon out all week with his hamstring injury again is not a good sign. Personally, I think he needs to go on the Reserved/Injured List (IR) for the upcoming roster move on Saturday.

S Minkah Fitzpatrick- Yeah, this sucks. Hoping for a full recovery, Minkah.

Most Likely:

QB Mason Rudolph- Unless another quarterback misses the game due to injury, this is the spot Rudolph will stay.

LB Mark Robinson- The good news is Myles Jack returned to practice on Friday and has no injury status. That is, it’s good news for everybody but Mark Robinson who now will not get a helmet like almost every game this season.


G Kevin Dotson- Popping up on Friday’s injury report, it might not be a good situation for Dotson if he was hurt in practice. There won’t need to be a practice squad elevation for him, the only question is if he can play or not.

OLB Malik Reed- Not having an injury, hopefully there will be a little more clarity with the Reed situation on Saturday. Assuming T.J. Watt gets activated, if Reed is unable to go that would leave the Steelers with only three OLBs. For this reason, a practice squad elevation would be likely. I have a feeling Reed‘s status will change one way or the other later today.

G Kendrick Green- If Kevin Dotson can’t go, then Kendrick Greene will get a helmet for the first time this season. For those concerned about Green being the starting left guard, that would fall to Jesse Davis and Green would be in reserve.

CB Josh Jackson- Even with two cornerbacks out injured, there’s a good chance another one could be inactive. The Steelers have seven cornerbacks on the roster right now, and with Demontae Kazee returning and taking up one of the spots in the secondary, the Steelers may only need four true cornerbacks. If Jackson is still on the roster for Sunday, he could be inactive.


WR Gunner Olszewski- The Steelers are now only carrying five wide receivers, so the likelihood of one being inactive now that Chase Claypool has been traded away is unlikely.

Projected Inactive List:

  1. William Jackson III
  2. Ahkello Witherspoon
  3. Mason Rudolph
  4. Kendrick Green
  5. Mark Robinson
  6. Josh Jackson*

I included a sixth name on this list because somebody is going to have to go to make room for T.J. Watt. It’s not going to be another outside linebacker as the Steelers already released Ryan Anderson earlier this week to make room for Matthew Wright. Since Boswell to IR is what Kazee onto the 53, it will ultimately be the spot of the player Kazee is replacing in the secondary who needs to go.

Although I would prefer to see Ahkello Witherspoon land on IR which would open up the spot for Watt, if the Steelers don’t think he’ll be out long enough they could simply release a player like Josh Jackson. Ultimately, I think it’s going to be Weatherspoon to IR and therefore Jackson would be on the inactive list. Everyone else is pretty obvious, except for the guard position and I’m hopeful Dotson will be able to go. If not, he simply replaces Green on the list.

The only other issue comes down to Malik Reed and any practice squad elevation. If an outside linebacker is brought up from the practice squad, then Steelers would have a sixth player on the inactive list and it would be Reed. Look for an update of this article later on Saturday when roster moves are made official.

UPDATE: The Steelers made several roster moves along with the downgrade of Fitzpatick:

It was no surprise T.J. Watt returned, but I was surprised that it was William Jackson that was placed on IR. For those that didn’t like the trade, this will put more fuel on the fire not because the Steelers gave up much when it comes to the draft, but for the $2.77 million he is costing for the rest of the season.

With Mika Fitzpatrick being ruled out, the Steelers elevated safety Elijah Riley from the practice squad. Although I felt the Steelers wouldn’t have to make this move, I now believe this will cost Josh Jackson his helmet. With no other OLB brought up from the practice squad, I believe Malik Reed will be active. My new projected list, now officially six players, is as follows:

  1. Ahkello Witherspoon
  2. Minkah Fitzpatrick
  3. Mason Rudolph
  4. Kendrick Green
  5. Mark Robinson
  6. Josh Jackson

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