The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their ninth game of the 2017 regular season on the road Sunday afternoon against the Indianapolis Colts with a chance to improve their record to 76-2 and remain the No. 1 seed in the AFC. 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 Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis.
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 – It was nice to get a little update on Dobbs from head coach Mike Tomlin this past Tuesday. The rookie quarterback apparently was able to get a few extra reps during the Steelers bye week practices and he took advantage of them. With that said, the Tennessee product still remains the Steelers No. 3 quarterback entering the second half of the regular season and that means he’ll likely be one of the team’s seven inactive players moving forward, as expected.
Jerald Hawkins – Like Dobbs, Hawkins has yet to dress for a game this season and that’s not likely to change Sunday against the Colts. The Steelers are expected to get starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert back on Sunday and that means fellow tackle Chris Hubbard will return to the sideline and serve some as an extra blocking tight end during the game. Hawkins will be lucky to dress the remainder of the season.
James Harrison – Surprisingly, Harrison showed up on the Steelers injury report this past Wednesday with a back injury. He ended the week listed as out for Sunday’s game against the Colts after failing to practice all three days. Tomlin didn’t mention Harrison during his Tuesday press conference as being injured and being as the veteran outside linebacker didn’t play a single snap in the team’s Week 8 game and had the bye week rest some, it really makes you wonder if he’s really injured at all. Regardless, Sunday will mark the third time this season that Harrison will be one of the team’s seven inactive players.
Daniel McCullers – Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt is expected to return to the field Sunday in Indianapolis after missing the teams last two games with a back injury. Tuitt’s return will more than likely result in McCullers going back to the inactive list as the Steelers normally only dress five defensive linemen for games. McCullers has played all of 9 defensive snaps in the games that he’s been active for this season.
Justin Hunter – Hunter dressed in Week 8 thanks to fellow wide receiver Martavis Bryant being sat down for a game as punishment for a social media outburst. With Bryant now expected to return to action Sunday in Indianapolis, Hunter will more than likely go back to being one of the team’s weekly inactive players. In his limited action this season, Hunter has played all of 33 offensive snaps on his way to registering 3 receptions for 18 yards.
Matt Feiler – As previously mentioned, the Steelers are expected to get Gilbert on Sunday and his return will more than likely result in Feiler going back to the inactive list as the team normally only dresses seven offensive linemen for games. If for some reason Feiler is allowed to dress in Indianapolis, tight end Xavier Grimble might wind up inactive being as the team should also have fellow tight end Vance McDonald back on the field this week.
Brian Allen – With it sounding like safety Mike Mitchell will be able to play against the Colts, Allen is likely to see his name on the team’s inactive list once again. Mitchell was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week but after working fully on Friday, he wasn’t given a game status designation on the final injury report. In short, that means the Steelers expect Mitchell to be healthy enough to play against the Colts.