The 5-4 Pittsburgh Steelers will host the 2-7 Cleveland Browns Sunday at Heinz Field and here is my weekly guess at what the seven-player inactive list might look like when it is released 90 minutes before kickoff.
Matt Spaeth – The Steelers backup tight end was ruled out for Sunday’s game earlier in the week and this will make the second straight game he’s missed and the third of the season. Spaeth is dealing with a knee injury and for now, rookie Jesse James will dress in his place.
Terence Garvin – Garvin still isn’t ready to play but the fact that he was able to practice this week in limited capacity is a sign that he might be able to return after the bye week. This will mark the fourth straight game that Garvin has missed because of a knee injury that required a minor procedure.
Shamarko Thomas – Thomas wasn’t mentioned on Tuesday by head coach Mike Tomlin but he showed up on the Wednesday injury report nonetheless and failed to practice all week. While the third-year safety hasn’t contributed or played much on defense so far this season, he has registered 5 total special teams tackles. Like several others on this list, Thomas is dealing with a knee injury.
James Harrison – The Steelers veteran outside linebacker will miss his first game of the season Sunday with a knee injury that prevented him from practicing all week. With the bye coming next week, the hope is that Harrison will be back for the game against the Seattle Seahawks. With Harrison out, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats and Bud Dupree are expected to absorb the snaps he would’ve played.
Byron Stingily – Stingily has yet to dress for a game since he was signed and I can’t see that changing on Sunday as Chris Hubbard is currently entrenched as the swing tackle right now.
Ben Roethlisberger – Even though he was able to practice two days this past week on his sprained left foot, it’s very doubtful Roethlisberger is allowed to suit up Sunday against the Browns. With the bye week to follow, Roethlisberger should be back for the road game against the Seahawks. At least that’s what we all are hoping for.
Isaiah Pead – This last spot will go to either Pead, L.T. Walton, Doran Grant, or Sammie Coates, but being as Thomas is sidelined, there’s a good chance Grant will make his NFL debut on special teams. Pead probably didn’t help his cause this week by being limited on Wednesday with a knee injury. He’s not a great special teams player to boot and that will also likely hurt his chances of getting a helmet.