The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Baltimore Ravens Sunday on the road and they enter that contest with three key players listed as questionable on their final injury report of the week that was released on Friday. As usual, I will attempt to project the Steelers seven inactives for Sunday’s contest and this set of Week 9 guesses are a bit tougher thanks to the uncertain availability of a few key players.
Game inactives are officially announced 90 minutes before kickoff, so make sure you check back at that time to see the names of the players for both teams who will be sitting the game out.
Zach Mettenberger – As I write this, there has still been no official word as to whether or not Ben Roethlisberger will start at quarterback Sunday against the Ravens. I will venture a guess that at worst, he will dress and serve as a backup. That would leave Mettenberger as the odd man out this week if Roethlisberger dresses.
DeAngelo Williams – Williams, like Roethlisberger, ended the week listed as questionable with a knee injury. While Williams was limited on Wednesday and Friday in the team’s practices, he did not work Thursday. Being as he wasn’t active for the pre-bye week game against the New England Patriots in addition to not being able to practice fully this past week, I will guess that Williams will be inactive again Sunday against the Ravens.
Brian Mihalik – With starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert expected to be back in the lineup on Sunday, there is no longer a need for Mihalik to dress as Chris Hubbard will return to the bench after starting the last three games.
Cobi Hamilton – While Hamilton did an admirable job over in the last two games, he’s likely to be inactive against the Ravens if Markus Wheaton is deemed healthy enough to play and if Eli Rogers is completely out of the coach’s’ dog house. The Steelers don’t need to dress six wide receivers so one of them will need to be inactive.
L.T. Walton – With starting defensive end Cameron Heyward expected to make his return from injury Sunday in Baltimore, it would make sense for Walton to not dress.
Steven Johnson – The Steelers don’t need to dress all 10 of their linebackers in Baltimore and while Johnson leads Pittsburgh in special teams tackles so far this season, he’s the player most likely to be inactive. It’s either him or L.J. Fort, right?
Shamarko Thomas – I realize that I should probably put cornerback William Gay in this last spot being as he ended the week listed as questionable with a foot injury. Additionally, cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz, was promoted to the Steelers 53-man roster on Saturday and that’s another sign that Gay might not play against the Ravens. Gay, however, has never missed a game so far during his career and thus that foot injury would probably need to be bad for him to break that 151-game streak. So why am I not listing Gay here? If you see the tweets below, Gay reportedly said Friday that he’ll play against the Ravens and I have no reason to doubt him. While I will likely be wrong, I’ll guess that Thomas will be the odd man out on Sunday as he is merely a special teams player that the Steelers have done fine without the last few weeks.
Gay (foot) didn't practice today. Said he had no health issue, was just taking day off. Wouldn't address question about Sunday availability.
— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) November 4, 2016
William Gay said he'll play against the Ravens, despite not practicing today. Fridays are typically a strong indicator for Steelers players.
— Jacob Klinger (@Jacob_Klinger_) November 4, 2016