The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their sixth game of the 2017 regular season on the road Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs with a chance to improve their record to 4-2. 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 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
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 is one of two players on the Steelers roster who has been inactive for every game this season and that’s not a bit surprising being as he’s the No. 3 quarterback. Barring an injury to quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger or Landry Jones, Dobbs can be expected to be on the Steelers inactive list every week moving forward.
Jerald Hawkins – The Steelers should have starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert back on Sunday against the Chiefs and that means backup tackle Chris Hubbard will go back to the sideline. Hawkins, like Dobbs, has been inactive for every game this season. Barring multiple injuries to offensive linemen in the coming weeks, Hawkins will likely continue to be inactive on game days moving forward.
Daniel McCullers – When starting defensive end Stephon Tuitt returned from his biceps injury a few weeks ago, McCullers returned to the inactive list. The Steelers normally only dress five defensive linemen in total for games and so that leaves McCullers as the odd man out. Barring injuries, McCullers might spend a lot of time on the team’s inactive list moving forward into the season.
Justin Hunter – With Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers expected to be active Sunday in Kansas City after spending the last two games in street clothes, Hunter is a prime candidate to return to the inactive list in Week 6. In total, Hunter played 14 offensive snaps in the two recent games that he dressed for and he caught all of two passes for 11 yards. With Hunter not having any special teams value he’s likely to be inactive for the foreseeable future barring an injury to a wide receiver or Rogers being sat back down again.
Brian Allen – The Steelers secondary is seemingly in good health right now and that should result in Allen being inactive again on Sunday against the Chiefs. The Steelers fifth-round draft pick this year has only dressed for two games this season and was limited to special teams work in those contests.
Ramon Foster – Foster, the Steelers starting left guard, failed to practice all week due to a back injury that he must have suffered during the team’s Week 5 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. While Foster ultimately ended the week listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll play Sunday against the Chiefs. Should Foster indeed wind up being inactive on Sunday, backup interior offensive lineman B.J. Finney will start in his place at left guard. Foster being inactive Sunday should also result in backup offensive lineman Matt Feiler dressing for the game against the Chiefs.
Xavier Grimble – Steelers veteran outside linebacker James Harrison is expected to dress and play Sunday in Kansas City after being inactive for the team’s last two games. With the other six inactives pretty much set in stone, there are really only two legitimate candidates to be the team’s seventh inactive player and they are Grimble and outside linebacker Arthur Moats. From a special teams standpoint, Grimble is the most-expendable player of him and Moats as he’s only seeing action on the punt coverage team as a wing protector. While the Steelers only have two other tight ends on their 53-man roster, Hubbard can be considered a third one now that Gilbert is expected to return from his injury on Sunday. The Steelers only dressed two tight ends back in Week 2 when Vance McDonald was injured and so I expect Grimble to be a healthy scratch on Sunday against the Chiefs. If it’s ultimately not him, it almost certainly will be Moats.