The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading on the road again as they look to win three straight away from Acrisure Stadium. As the season rolls on, the true nature of the depth chart has come much more into focus, but injuries are still a driving force when it comes to the inactive list every week. For Week 15, the Steelers have two players listed as doubtful which is almost as bad as being ruled out unless a change in status comes 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. Both Steelers players who are doubtful are at a position where a healthy scratch usually occurs, so a practice squad elevation is not a necessity this week.
DOUBTFUL: QB Kenny Pickett (concussion) LB Myles Jack (groin)
QB Kenny Pickett (concussion)
LB Myles Jack (groin)
Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for the Steelers against the Panthers on Sunday:
None - Since no players have been ruled out at this time, this category is empty.
QB Kenny Pickett- (UPDATED) The move is now official, so Pickett can be moved here (I’m leaving the old breakdowns for any who are interested).
QB Kenny Pickett - Even though the Steelers are keeping their decision at quarterback “hush-hush” for as long as they can, the fact they listed Pickett as doubtful and announced it to the press makes the probability of him dressing for this game extremely low. LB Myles Jack - Once again, it’s the doubtful tag that the Steelers used to keep a little bit of the light on but ultimately have these players on the sidelines. Could the Steelers do a repeat from Week 10 and have Jack active but not playing? They could. But why list him as doubtful if that’s their plan?
G Kendrick Green- Looks like this week Kendrick Green will move into the lead for the most times inactive in 2022 unless something crazy happens.
CB Josh Jackson- Showing up on the injury report Thursday, Jackson didn’t practice and then was limited Friday. But why rule out a player if there’s a chance he could play if you need him but otherwise he would be inactive as a healthy scratch?
LB Myles Jack- (UPDATED) A bump if his availability is now necessary, but there is still no guarantee Jack is active.
OLB Malik Reed- Despite having his questionable status dropped last week, Malik Reed ended up inactive for the game. Because the Steelers have set that precedence, it could be possible that it happens again this week. But that might have been a specific plan because of Baltimore.
DL Isaiahh Loudermilk- There has got to be one more person inactive and it’s likely coming from the front five on defense. Loudermilk was the guy for a long time earlier this season so it’s still at least possible.
DL Jonathan Marshall- Joining the Steelers this week, it might be wise to have Jonathan Marshall get another week of practice before they throw him onto the field. But if he’s playing nose tackle, the Steelers did it with Montravius Adams last year where very little practice was required before his first game.
DL Tyson Alualu- I’m throwing this name out there because I’m really tempted to include him now. The play has really fallen off this year by Alualu and if the Steelers are trying to evaluate their younger players it might be easier for someone who is not going to be around beyond this year to be the guy on the sidelines.
QB Mason Rudolph-
With Kenny Pickett being doubtful and not ruled out yet, there’s still the crazy scenario where Pickett could dress and Rudolph be inactive again. But I think that is a crazy scenario. (UPDATED) Rudolph now will 100% get a helmet to be the backup on Sunday.
LB Mark Robinson- It’s not that the Steelers absolutely have to have another inside linebacker if it’s not Myles Jack, but at this point of the season why not at least have Robinson out there and give him some special team snaps if nothing else?
Projected Inactive List:
- Kenny Pickett
- Myles Jack
- Kendrick Green
- Josh Jackson
- Jonathan Marshall
The first four names on this list were easy, but the choice for the final spot was tricky. While the Steelers could just go with one less inside linebacker and have it be Mark Robinson again, I don’t like that move. I also didn’t like Malik Reed last week which left the Steelers thin at outside linebacker other than using some of their defensive lineman like DeMarvin Leal. Ultimately, I think Tyson Alualu really should be the guy in the spot. But since I’m not quite ready to go that bold, the player who just joined the team and has three practices under his belt is probably a more wise choice to be inactive this week. But next week I’d like to see him play.
One other possible scenario I’ll float is if the Steelers want the extra defensive lineman like they had last week but they’re not sure that it’s Jonathan Marshall just yet, elevating Carlos Davis from the practice squad is not out of the question for this week. I’m not going to predict it, but it also wouldn’t surprise me.
UPDATE: After the change in injury statuses, I’m still not changing anything. If there are any other roster moves by 4PM I’ll adjust at that time.
As always, feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.