The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their tenth game of the 2017 regular season at home Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans with a chance to improve their record to 8-2 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 Thursday night at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
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 – As usual, Dobbs should be on the Steelers inactive list Thursday night as nothing has changed as far as his spot on the team’s depth chart. Dobbs has yet to dress for a game this season.
Joe Haden – after suffering broken fibula in the first of the Steelers Sunday game against the Indianapolis Colts, Haden will now be sidelined for probably at least four weeks. The good news is that Haden isn’t likely to need surgery and thus the team has no immediate plans to place him on their Reserve/Injured list. Instead, he will just be a weekly inactive for the time being and hopefully he can return to action by the time the team plays the New England Patriots in Week 15 at Heinz Field. With Haden sidelined, rookie cornerback Brian Allen will likely dress for games moving forward.
Jerald Hawkins – Hawkins has yet to dress for a game this season and that’s unlikely to change Thursday night. Besides, Hawkins remains buried on the offensive line depth chart and now that tackle Marcus Gilbert has returned from his injury, the former fourth-round draft pick doesn’t stand a chance to get a helmet.
James Harrison – Harrison spent this week on the Steelers injury report as a limited practice participant due to a supposed back injury. That’s the same supposed injury that prevented him being active Sunday against the Colts. In short, it doesn’t sound like Harrison will be allowed to dress Thursday night against the Titans even though he officially ended the week listed as questionable. If for some reason Harrison does wind up dressing against the Titans its hard to imagine him playing any snaps.
Mike Mitchell – Mitchell, who suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s game against the Colts, was officially listed as questionable for the Steelers Thursday night game on the team’s Wednesday injury report after being a limited practice participant all week. Mitchell was reportedly still sporting a decent limp as of Tuesday afternoon and being as this is a short week, I’ll guess that he’ll be inactive Thursday night. If that happens, it will mark the second game this season that Mitchell has missed due to an injury.
Vance McDonald – Like Mitchell, McDonald is dealing with an ankle injury suffered in the game against the Colts. He wore a walking boot all week and that prevented him from practicing. He ended the week listed as questionable just the same. My guess is that McDonald won’t play Thursday night.
Matt Feiler – It’s really hard to know what the full inactive list will look like this week with Mitchell, Harrison and McDonald all questionable. With that said, Feiler will likely be inactive Thursday night and especially now that Gilbert is back from his injury. This last spot could very easily go to defensive tackle Daniel McCullers just the same as the team normally only dresses five defensive linemen in total. I’ll guess that McCullers gets the lucky helmet this week and that Feiler will be inactive.
Week 11 vs. Tennessee. #GamePreview pic.twitter.com/H4jeqAbmAl
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 15, 2017