The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading to Atlanta for the second of back-to-back road matchups. 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 13, the Steelers have three players with an injury status so it’s not out of the realm that a roster move or practice squad elevations could be coming by Saturday’s 4 PM deadline.
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. The Steelers may need another running back or outside linebacker for the game based on who is questionable, so any elevations would be telling.
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring)
OLB T.J. Watt (ribs)
RB Jaylen Warren (hamstring)
Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for the Steelers against the Falcons on Sunday:
CB Ahkello Witherspoon- This will be four games in a row after a previous four-game streak. Maybe he eventually lands on the Reserve/Injured List (IR), but at this point why bother?
QB Mason Rudolph- Healthy quarterbacks. It’s what we want to hear. This will make it 12 in a row for Rudolph.
G Kendrick Green- Healthy offensive lineman. It’s also what we want to hear. So it’s 12 in a row for Green as well.
CB Josh Jackson- Now that the Steelers seem set at the other cornerback positions even with Witherspoon and William Jackson III, Josh Jackson may be the most expendable healthy player on the 53-man roster should they need to make a move.
LB Mark Robinson- He got a helmet last week like many were clamoring for. But not only did he fail to see the field on defense, Robinson didn’t even get any special team snaps.
RB Jaylen Warren- Despite being a full participant at every practice this week, Jaylen Warren is still listed as questionable. I don’t get it.
OLB T.J. Watt- Although he practiced every day, T.J. Watt was only limited. I seem to recall him not practicing much prior to Week 1 of 2021 and it turned out well, so I don’t think the practice is the issue. The only thing this comes down to is Watt’s health.
DL Isaiahh Loudermilk- It has been reported that DeMarvin Leal is healthy and ready to go. The only question is if the Steelers activate in this game or at the end of his 21-day window this coming week. If he does and is back on the 53, I think Loudermilk goes back to inactive like he was earlier in the season.
RB Najee Harris- Despite not practicing for two days and being limited on Friday, Najee Harris has no injury status. And Jaylen Warren is questionable after doing everything. It just doesn’t make sense. But with no designation, there’s no reason to have Harris inactive.
Projected Inactive List:
- Ahkello Witherspoon
- Mason Rudolph
- Kendrick Green
- Josh Jackson
- Mark Robinson
This list is very straightforward. The only thing that changes would be roster moves later today. If either Jaylen Warren or T.J. Watt looks like they won’t be able to go, I look for an elevation from the practice squad with the likely candidates being Anthony McFarland and David Anenih. One other option is if DeMarvin Leal could take snaps at outside linebacker, but he would have to be activated from IR to the 53-man roster. If he is, I look for either Whitherspoon goes on IR or Josh Jackson is the unlucky release. But until those moves happen, this is the list.
I’m thinking both T.J. Watt and Jalen Warren play on Sunday. I wouldn’t be shocked if there are no elevations. The big wildcard comes down to DeMarvin Leal and if he is back this week or next.
As always, feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.