The (9-5) Pittsburgh Steelers will host the (8-6) Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and if they win they will take the AFC North division. The Steelers Friday injury report showed that two players are doubtful for Sunday with four others ending the week listed as questionable. There’s certainly some guessing to do this week when it comes to the Steelers inactive list and here is my weekly attempt at projecting those seven players for Sunday’s game.
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 – Mettenberger will once again be on the Steelers inactive list this week against the Ravens. Will he be active next week against the Cleveland Browns if the Steelers beat the Ravens and can’t improve their playoff seeding? It’s possible. Let’s just beat the Ravens first.
Brian Mihalik – Go ahead and write Mihalik’s name in pen this week as he’s sure to be one of the seven inactive players once again. He’s dressed for only two games this season and failed to play a single offensive snap.
Ladarius Green – After ending the week listed as doubtful, Green isn’t likely to play Sunday against the Ravens. The tight end suffered a concussion late in the game last Sunday and failed to practice this week. You have to think the Steelers will take it real easy with Green over the course of the final two weeks of the regular season.
Sammie Coates – Like Green, it’s not looking like Coates will play Sunday against the Ravens. The second-year wide receiver injured a hamstring during Thursday’s practice and ended the week listed as doubtful on the injury report. With Coates likely down, look for rookie wide receiver Demarcus Ayers to make his debut against the Ravens.
Stephon Tuitt – It’s really hard to know whether or not Tuitt will be able to play against the Ravens after failing to practice all week. Tuitt, who sprained his right knee last Sunday, ended the week listed as questionable on the team’s injury report. The Steelers promoted defensive end Johnny Maxey from the practice squad on Saturday so that’s probably a good sign that Tuitt will at best be a game-time decision. I’ll guess that he’s ultimately held out this weekend.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – Heyward-Bey ended the week as questionable despite practicing fully on Friday and being limited on Wednesday and Thursday. I’m guessing he’s still one or two weeks away from returning at this point. He hasn’t played since Week 9 because of a foot injury.
L.J. Fort – Keep your eye on cornerback Justin Gilbert being as he failed to practice on Thursday and Friday. With that said, I still don’t think the Steelers can afford to make Gilbert a healthy scratch on Sunday and especially with Coates, another special teamer, likely to be sidelined. I’ll guess that Fort will be the odd man out and the seventh inactive.