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Predicting the Steelers’ inactive list for Week 1 vs. the Bengals

No players have been ruled out due to injury, so the choices of who does not get a helmet Sunday are more difficult.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for their first game of the 2022 NFL season. As the season rolls on, the true nature of the depth chart will come a little more into focus. But for Week 1, trying to predict who the Steelers will have on their inactive list at 11:30 AM Sunday is much more difficult than it will be in the coming weeks. Regardless, I’m still going to give it a shot.

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. Until the Steelers announce an elevation, we will assume it is only five players but will adjust the projection if necessary.

Game Status

No players with an injury status

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


None (No players have been ruled out)

Most Likely:

QB Mason Rudolph- The Steelers only dress two quarterbacks (I’m not sure why some people this offseason thought they dress three) and Rudolph is listed as the third option.


OT Trent Scott- The Steelers will likely have one of their nine offensive linemen inactive, the only question is which one. Scott offers the least position flexibility so he is a good candidate.

OT Jesse Davis- Although position versatility is a strength, along with extensive NFL playing time, Davis is new to the team so it ultimately depends on if he is ready to go.

WR Steven Sims- Keeping six wide receivers is a luxury, so dressing all six is even more so. If anybody doesn’t get a helmet I suspect it is Sims.

TE Connor Heyward- If the Steelers want all their receivers in uniform then they have to skimp somewhere else. The Steelers have gone with only two tight ends dressed in the past, and Heyward is merely a rookie. Ultimately this comes down to if the Steelers plan to use his versatility on offense.

DT DeMarvin Leal- Much like the offensive line, the likelihood of all seven defensive linemen dressing is very small as they could get by with as few as five. Knowing this, the rookie has to be a possibility to be held out at the start of the season.

DT Montravius Adams- After missing the entire preseason, I was surprised Adams didn’t land on Injured Reserve. Not seeing him in action to know where he stands leaves him open to possibly not getting a helmet.

LB- Marcus Allen- Just like Adams, missing the preseason has Marcus Allen as an unknown at linebacker. If he gets a helmet, it’s all because of special teams.

LB Mark Robinson- If Allen gets a helmet, it would possibly be at the expense of the 2022 seventh-round draft pick despite Robinson being higher on the depth chart.


G Kendrick Green- I know seeing him on this list would make a lot of fans happy, but leaving only one player in J.C. Hassenauer to back up all three interior positions seems like too much of a stretch.

QB Kenny Pickett- I had to say it. Mike Tomlin said they will only dress two quarterbacks and he said Kenny Pickett is number two, but he did not say directly he was dressing Pickett. Really, I’m only putting him here in case there is another “clerical error” on game day. The Steelers have messed up before and had too many players inactive, so I wouldn’t put it past them to screw up which name was supposed to be on the list.

DT Isaiahh Loudermilk- While the Steelers could go with both Leal and Adams over Loudermilk, his experience in 2021 will likely keep his helmet on.

Projected Inactive List:

  1. Mason Rudolph
  2. Trent Scott
  3. Steven Sims
  4. Montravius Adams
  5. Marcus Allen

The Rudolph choice was obvious and I think Scott is the last guy on the o-line because he was cut and then brought back. I don’t know that having six wide receivers is wise usage of roster spots so I have Sims on the sidelines. As for the last two, I would like to see the rookies of Leal and Robinson, even if Robinson is only on special teams. For that reason I have Adams and Allen inactive this week.

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