The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon on the road to kick off their 2017 NFL regular season and if you’re like me, you’re counting down the hours until the game begins. As usual, I will attempt to project the seven inactives for each and every Steelers game of the 2017 season and below is my best guess as to which seven players won’t be given helmets Sunday in Cleveland.
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.
Joshua Dobbs – Dobbs’ rookie season will start with him being on the inactive list and that’s not overly surprising. As long as quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones both remain healthy, Dobbs will more than likely be a regular on this list.
Jerald Hawkins – The Steelers second-year tackle was officially ruled out for Sunday’s game on Friday with a knee injury that prevented him from practicing a few days. The Steelers usually only like to dress seven offensive linemen in total for games and so Hawkins will likely be on this list quite a bit during the 2017 season and especially if all the tackles ahead of him on the depth chart remain healthy.
Matt Feiler – While Feiler did make the 53-man roster this year as a ninth offensive lineman, there’s a good chance he ultimately spends most of the 2017 season on the inactive list. Feiler deserved to make the roster this year just the same.
Daniel McCullers – The Steelers usually only dress five defensive linemen for games and if that holds true again on Sunday, McCullers is likely to be the odd man out and thus one of the team’s seven inactive players.
Justin Hunter – Hunter may have made the 53-man roster this year but that still doesn’t mean that he’ll dress for every game. Hunter offers no value as a special teams player and if rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster dresses to return kickoffs on Sunday, it’s hard to imagine Hunter also getting a helmet.
Brian Allen – The Steelers rookie cornerback might not dress for many games this season. Somebody in the secondary needs to sit every week due to numbers and Allen is an obvious choice this week to be the odd man out.
Arthur Moats – This last spot is a tough one and especially with Bud Dupree currently listed on the injury report as questionable with shoulder and ankle issues. Dupree claims he’ll play on Sunday, however, and assuming he does, the Steelers will need to sit a linebacker. The likely candidates to be inactive are Moats and L.J. Fort. It’s worth pointing out, however, that Moats has dressed for every regular season game since he’s been with the Steelers. The last time he was inactive for a regular season game was in 2012 as a member of the Buffalo Bills.