The (7-5) Pittsburgh Steelers will play the (6-6) Buffalo Bills on the road Sunday in a game that figures to played in cold temperatures as well as snow. The Steelers Friday injury report showed that two players will miss the game against the Bills due to injuries so at least that helps a little when it comes to predicting the team’s seven inactives this week. With that said, a few other players ending the week listed as either doubtful or questionable leaves a lot of uncertainty when it comes to nailing all seven inactives for the game against the Bills. Here, now, is my weekly attempt at projecting the Steelers seven inactives for Week 14.
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.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – Heyward-Bey was ruled out for the Bills game on the Friday injury report as he’s still yet to overcome a foot injury that he suffered way back in Week 9. It’s unclear at this time whether or not Heyward-Bey will be allowed to resume practicing next week. Judging by comments made this past Tuesday by head coach Mike Tomlin, perhaps Heyward-Bey will be healthy enough to play in the Steelers Christmas day game against the Baltimore Ravens. We’ll see.
Shamarko Thomas – Thomas was unable to overcome a concussion that he suffered last Sunday as a result of a blind-side hit and he was ruled out for the game against the Bills on Friday. This will be the seventh game that Thomas has missed this season because of an injury. Hopefully he can overcome his concussion by next weekend as the Steelers sure could use him on special teams.
Zach Mettenberger – Another week has come and gone and Mettenberger still hasn’t dressed since the Steelers game against the New England Patriots. The third-string quarterback missed a day of practice this past week with an illness but it won’t matter as he’s likely to be inactive once again against the Bills.
Javon Hargrave – The Steelers rookie defensive tackle ended the week listed as doubtful on the injury report because of a concussion that he suffered last Sunday. Hargrave, however, did travel with the team to Buffalo and that’s a positive sign. On top of that, the Steelers didn’t promote a defensive lineman from their practice squad on Saturday. I have no choice but to predict that Hargrave will be inactive Sunday against the Bills, but with that said, I won’t be totally shocked if he’s cleared to play.
DeAngelo Williams – Williams’ status for Sunday’s game against the Bills is hard to judge being as he ended the week listed as questionable. Williams, who had surgery on one of his knees several weeks ago, was able to practice on a limited basis twice this past week. However, being as he never practiced fully, I will predict that he’ll once again be inactive for the game against the Bills.
Ramon Foster – As of Saturday night, I have no clue as to whether or not Foster will be able to play Sunday. He ended the week listed as questionable on the team’s injury report after failing to practice all week because of a chest injury that he suffered last weekend. If unable to play, B.J. Finney will more than likely get the start at left guard. If, however, Foster is allowed to play, look for tackle Brian Mihalik to be inactive once again.
Randy Bullock – It certainly is hard to gauge whether or not kicker Chris Boswell will be healthy enough to resume his duties Sunday in Buffalo. He ended the week listed as questionable due to his abdomen injury but was listed on the Friday injury report as having practiced fully that day. Consider it a wild guess that he will be good to go and if that’s ultimately the case, Bullock will likely be inactive. It could just as easy go the other way, however, depending on how pre-game warmups go.