The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their twelfth game of the 2017 regular season on the road Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals with a chance to improve their record to 10-2 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 night at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
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 – The Steelers rookie quarterback hasn’t dressed for a game this season and that’s not going to change Monday night in Cincinatti. Dobbs remains the team’s No. 3 quarterback and that’s not overly surprising. As previously stated, Dobbs’ best chance of dressing for a game this season might be in Week 17 and that’s only if the Steelers have nothing to gain or lose when it comes to seeding.
Joe Haden – Haden, as expected, was officially ruled out for the Steelers Monday night on the team’s Saturday injury report with his fractured fibula that he suffered several weeks ago. This will mark the third consecutive game that Haden has missed with his injury and there’s currently no timetable as to when he will be able to resume playing. With Haden sidelined again, Coty Sensabaugh is expected to start in his place on the left side of the defense. Additionally, there’s a good chance that rookie cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and Brian Allen will both dress again Monday night with Haden still sidelined.
Vance McDonald – McDonald, like Haden, was officially ruled out for the Steelers Monday night game against the Bengals on the team’s Saturday injury report after failing to practice all week. McDonald is still dealing with an ankle injury that he suffered several weeks ago and this will make three consecutive games that he’s missed with that injury. With McDonald out again, backup tight end Xavier Grimble will once again be in line for additional playing time.
Mike Mitchell – It’s rare that you see a player listed as doubtful on the Steelers injury report but such was the case this week with Mitchell, who failed to practice all week due to an ankle injury. Because of his doubtful listing, it’s easy to speculate that he’ll be held out of the Monday night game against the Bengals. If that’s the case, safety Robert Golden will more than likely start in his place. This would make the third game that Mitchell has missed this season due to injury if inactive Monday night.
Matt Feiler – Last Sunday night it was rookie tackle Jerald Hawkins that dressed as the team’s seventh offensive lineman in a bit of a surprising decision. It marked the first time for his young career that Hawkins has dressed for a game. Hawkins only played a few snaps as an extra blocker just the same. I have no reason to believe that Hawkins won’t dress again Monday night against the Bengals and because of that I will predict that Feiler will be inactive once again.
Antonio Brown – At the time of this post Brown is considered a game-time decision for Monday night after ending the week listed as questionable with a toe injury. Brown did reportedly travel with the team to Cincinatti, so there’s that. Also, you have to know that he will do everything within his power not to miss a divisional prime time game. Personally, if Brown is this iffy, I kind of hope the Steelers sit him down Monday night and thus give him an extra week to heal. They can’t afford to not have him fully healthy for the playoffs. I will predict that Brown will sit Monday night and that fellow wide receiver Justin Hunter dresses in his place. If, however, Brown is given the green light Monday night, Hunter would be an easy choice for the inactive list.
James Harrison – This last inactive spot will likely go to either Harrison or defensive tackle Daniel McCullers. Harrison, by the way, was mysteriously not given a game status designation on the Saturday injury report after reportedly failing to practice on Thursday and Friday because of a knee injury. Harrison has only played 29 total defensive snaps this season and hasn’t played in a game since Week 7, the last time the Steelers played the Bengals. Because of that, it’s easy for me to speculate that Harrison might be inactive again Monday night in Cincinnati. If, however, Harrison does ultimately dress Monday night, McCullers might wind up being on the inactive list.