The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their fourth game of the 2015 season at home Thursday night against the 0-3 Baltimore Ravens as they look to win a third-straight game. 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.
Ben Roethlisberger – After spraining his left MCL in the Sunday win over the St. Louis Rams, Roethlisberger will now be on the Steelers inactive list for at least the next month and maybe even longer. With him being out an extended amount of time, Landry Jones will dress in his place and serve as the back-up to Michael Vick. Thursday night will mark the first time in Jones’ career that he has dressed for a regular season game.
Ryan Shazier – Shazier will miss a second straight game with a shoulder injury and that’s concerning. Until he regains strength in it, he will not be allowed to practice, according to head coach Mike Tomlin. The former first round draft pick was playing well prior to his latest injury, but it is starting to look like he can’t be counted on to stay healthy for long stretches. With Shazier out again, Sean Spence will likely start with Vince Williams also likely to see some limited playing time.
Daniel McCullers – Like Shazier, McCullers will miss a second consecutive game. The former sixth-round draft pick still hasn’t been able to practice since injuring his left knee in Week 2. With McCullers out, rookie defensive end L.T. Walton should dress again in his place as fellow rookie defensive end Caushaud Lyons was waived on Wednesday.
Matt Spaeth – Spaeth fractured a hand in Week 3 and that resulted in him being casted on Monday. It’s a pretty big blow as he’s a reliable blocker in the running game in addition to being a contributor on special teams. Spaeth was officially ruled out on Wednesday and we’ll have to wait and see if his injury winds up costing him multiple weeks.
Cortez Allen – Allen ended the week listed as questionable with his knee problem so we should probably expect him to miss yet another game Thursday night. Ross Cockrell has played well in his absence, so at least that’s some consolation. Allen signed a big contract prior to the start of the 2014 season so it’s discouraging that he’s not been able to live up to that deal. He continues to unfortunately trend in the wrong direction.
Chris Hubbard – Hubbard has yet to dress so far this season and that seems very unlikely to change Thursday night against the Ravens. Doug Legursky and Alejandro Villanueva are expected to continue to serve as the team’s sixth and seventh offensive linemen on gamedays.
Dri Archer – The Steelers promoted rookie linebacker Anthony Chickillo from their practice squad on Wednesday so that likely means he will dress Thursday night against the Ravens. Somebody has to serve as the seventh inactive and the only other real candidates are Archer and rookie tight end Jesse James, who has yet to dress for a game this season. With Spaeth out, the Steelers might decide to dress James as an emergency tight end and part-time special teams player. That leaves Archer as the odd man out as he wouldn’t likely be given the chance to even return a kickoff Thursday night being as Ravens kicker Justin Tucker already has 15 touchbacks on 16 kickoffs to start the season.