The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their 2015 regular season home opener Sunday at Heinz Field against the San Francisco 49ers as the team looks to even their record at 1-1. As usual, here is my best guess as to what the Steelers list of inactives will look like prior to the game. Inactives aren’t announced until 90 minutes before kickoff, so check back on the site around that time for the official lists from both teams.
Landry Jones – While Jones made it through practice this week after sitting out last week with a concussion, he still won’t dress Sunday against the 49ers. Jones has yet to get a regular-season helmet so far during his career and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
Caushaud Lyons – As expected, Lyons was inactive Week 1 as the Steelers had their top five defensive linemen healthy. Lyons joined the team right before the start of the regular season so he’s still likely trying to learn all of the intricacies of the defense as well. Expect him not to dress Sunday against the 49ers.
Jesse James – As long as fullback Roosevelt Nix is on the 53 man roster, James will struggle to get a helmet. Why? Well when Nix a helmet, Will Johnson can focus on being the third tight end instead of the fullback. It will be interesting to see if Nix is kept after this week as the team will need a roster spot for currently suspended running back Le’Veon Bell. If he’s waived, James might start getting a gameday helmet.
Chris Hubbard – The coaching staff chose to go with Doug Legursky as their seventh offensive lineman over Hubbard in Week 1 and there’s no reason to think that will change on Sunday. Legursky is the better player of the two and especially at the center position.
Sammie Coates – We learned last week that the team really likes the position versatility of rookie wide receiver Tyler Murphy over Coates at the start of the season. While Murphy didn’t play special teams last week, he did get into the game late on the game’s final drive. Coates will likely be inactive again this week, but Murphy could be the player who is ultimately waived in a few weeks when Martavis Bryant needs to be activated from the suspended list.
L.T. Walton – Walton, like Lyons, was inactive in Week 1 and that wasn’t overly surprising being as the team normally only dresses five defensive linemen for games. Being as injuries don’t seem to be an issue this week, I suspect Walton will join Lyons on the inactive list for a second consecutive week.
Ross Cockrell – This final one is tough as cornerback Cortez Allen ended the week listed as questionable. Last year, Steelers players ending a week listed as questionable played just 35.71% of the time. Being as Mike Tomlin said earlier in the week that he didn’t believe injuries would be an issue against the 49ers, I will guess that Allen dresses Sunday and plays. That would likely result in newcomer Cockrell not getting a helmet again.