The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Heinz Field in an AFC Wild Card game and the home team enters the game with two players ruled out on their injury report and another three listed as questionable. With that being the case, it’s easy to predict over half of the seven players who will be inactive on Sunday. Below is my best guess as to which other three players will be inactive against the Dolphins.
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 remains the third string quarterback and after dressing last weekend with starter Ben Roethlisberger resting, he’ll go back to being inactive on Sunday.
Brian Mihalik – Mihalik dressed for the regular season finale with starting center Maurkice Pouncey held out of the game. Like Mettenberger, Mihalik will go back to being inactive on Sunday against the Dolphins.
Anthony Chickillo – Chickillo was unable to practice all week because of an ankle injury that he’s been battling for a few weeks and as result was ruled out for Sunday’s game on the Friday injury report. While not inactive last week, Chickillo failed to play in the regular season finale. This will mark the first time this season that he’ll be on the inactive list.
Ricardo Mathews – Mathews, like Chickillo, has been battling an ankle injury for a few weeks now and he aggravated it last week against the Cleveland Browns and failed to finish the contest. Mathews failed to practice all week and was ultimately ruled out for Sunday’s game on the Friday injury report. This will be the first game that Mathews has missed this season.
Ladarius Green – At the start of the week it was looking like Green would make it back for the game against the Dolphins after missing the last two games with a concussion. Green, however, failed to practice on Friday after working fully the two previous days and ultimately ended the week listed as questionable. With Green reportedly still in protocol as of Friday evening, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be cleared to play by Sunday. Look for fellow tight end Xavier Grimble to get a helmet in place of Green.
Robert Golden – Golden suffered an ankle injury a few weeks ago and sat out the regular season finale. While he was able to practice on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday, he ended the week listed as questionable. I’m guessing that Golden will be held out Sunday against the Dolphins.
Demarcus Ayers – I have no clue how head coach Mike Tomlin will handle this final inactive spot. You could make a good argument for wide receiver Sammie Coates being down instead of Ayers. With that said, Coates is healthy now and the better special teams player of the two. If, however, the Steelers do choose to dress all six wide receivers, perhaps cornerback Justin Gilbert or linebacker Vince Williams will ultimately be the odd man out against the Dolphins. Williams ended the week listed as questionable with a shoulder injury but did practice fully on Friday.