The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the New England Patriots Sunday at home and thanks to several players being ruled out on the team’s Friday injury report, I don’t have to guess who the seven inactives will be this week.
Game inactives are officially announced 90 minutes before kickoff and below should be the seven for the Steelers. Here’s a recap of each.
Ben Roethlisberger – The Steelers starting quarterback will miss his first game of the 2016 regular season on Sunday due to him needing surgery this past Monday to repair the meniscus that he injured in his left knee in the loss to the Miami Dolphins. Roethlisberger is expected to be sidelined 2-6 weeks and thankfully the team has their bye following Sunday’s game against the Patriots. It would be great if Roethlisberger can make it back for the Week 9 road game against the Baltimore Ravens. In the meantime, however, Landry Jones will start against the Patriots and will be backed up by Zach Mettenberger.
Cameron Heyward – Heyward will miss his second straight game Sunday thanks to the hamstring injury that he suffered in the Week 5 win over the New York Jets. He’ll then get an extra week to rehab after the game against the Patriots and like Roethlisberger, the hope is that he’ll also be able to make it back for the game against the Ravens. With Heyward out again, rookie Javon Hargrave and veteran Ricardo Mathews will absorb his snaps on the right side of the Steelers defense.
Marcus Gilbert – After failing to practice all week, Gilbert will miss his third game of season on Sunday due to an ankle injury that he suffered in the Week 4 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. With Gilbert out again, Chris Hubbard will start at right tackle in his place and Brian Mihalik will also likely dress against the Patriots as a backup.
Markus Wheaton – Wheaton will once again miss another game on Sunday because of a shoulder injury. He’s dressed for just 3 games so far this season and has just 4 receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. With Wheaton down again, fellow wide receiver Cobi Hamilton is expected to dress in his place. Hamilton was promoted to the team’s 53-man roster from the practice squad last Saturday.
Shamarko Thomas – Thomas suffered a groin injury two weeks ago against the Jets and that will now keep him out through the bye week as he failed to practice this past week. This will mark the 10th game that Thomas has missed during his career due to an injury. It’s not known if he’ll be ready to return to action after the team’s bye week.
Cody Wallace – Wallace has yet to play so far this season after suffering a knee injury during the preseason and he won’t be playing Sunday against the Patriots. It’s unknown as to when he might be healthy enough to start dressing as a backup once again. In the meantime, B.J. Finney is serving as the team’s swing interior backup lineman.
DeAngelo Williams – Williams will miss his first game of the 2016 season on Sunday as he failed to practice all week due to a knee injury. With Williams set to be inactive against the Patriots, starting running back Le’Veon Bell will backed-up on Sunday by Fitzgerald Toussaunt. The Steelers chose not to promote either of their two practice squad running backs to their 53-man roster on Saturday.