The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their thirteenth game of the 2017 regular season at home Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens with a chance to improve their record to 11-2, remain the No. 1 seed in the AFC in addition to winning their their division. 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 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 – Dobbs will once again find himself on the trams list of seven inactive players Sunday night against the Ravens and that shouldn’t come as a surprise being as he’s still the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones. In a perfect world, Dobbs will ultimately be active and perhaps even play a little bit in the Steelers regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns. In order for that to happen, however, the Steelers would need to win their next three games starting Sunday night and then hope that the New England Patriots also lose another one of their remaining games.
Ryan Shazier – Due to the serious back injury that Shazier suffered Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals the inside linebacker isn’t expected to play the rest of the season and especially now that hes undergone a spinal stabilization surgery. Nothing should be read into the fact that Steelers didn’t place Shazier on their Reserve/Injured list this past week and that’s because there was no need to promote a player from the teams practice squad just for him to ultimately land on the inactive list.
Tyler Matakevich – Matakevich, like Shazier, suffered an injury Monday night against the Bengals. That shoulder injury resulted in failing to practice this week and he was ultimately officially ruled for the Sunday night game against the Ravens on the team’s Friday injury report. With Shazier and Matakevich both hurt, the Steelers signed free agent linebacker Sean Spence earlier this week and the team’s former third-round draft pick will likely play Sunday night on special teams in addition to possibly playing some defensive snaps alongside Vince Williams. As of Saturday afternoon, however, outside linebacker Arthur Moats is expected to start Sunday night alongside Williams.
Joe Haden – Not surprisingly, Haden failed to practice any this past week as he continues to recover from the fractured fibula that he suffered back in Week 10. He was officially ruled out for the Sunday night game against the Ravens on the Steelers Friday injury report. This will make the fourth game that Haden has missed because of his injury. With Haden sidelined again this weekend, either Coty Sensabaugh or Cameron Sutton will start in his place at the left outside cornerback position. Keep your fingers crossed that Haden will be able to resume practicing next week and ultimately play next Sunday against the Patriots.
Matt Feiler – The Steelers have made Feiler a healthy inactive player in lieu of tackle Jerald Hawkins the last few weeks and that same thing is expected to happen again Sunday night ahead of the team’s game against the Ravens. In the two games that Hawkins has dressed for, the former fourth-round draft pick has played a total of 10 offensive snaps as an extra blocker on the end of the offensive line.
Daniel McCullers – All six of the Steelers defensive lineman are currently healthy and that should result in McCullers being a healthy scratch Sunday night at Heinz Field. McCullers hasn’t dressed for very many games this season and even when he has been in uniform he hasn’t seen the field very much. Expect to see him on the team’s seven-man inactive list 90 minutes prior to kick off.
Xavier Grimble – The Steelers seventh and final inactive player for Sunday night isn’t an easy one to guess. With that said, there are only a few candidates for the spot and the list starts with Mitchell, who ended the week as questionable after being limited during the teams Friday practice. His game status is a bit confusing being as Friday is supposedly one of the easiest practices and combined with the fact that he practiced fully on both Wednesday and Thursday. If Mitchell ultimately dresses, the other candidates for the last inactive spot would likely be cornerback Brian Allen, running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and Grimble. With tight end Vance McDonald now expected to play Sunday night, I’ll guess that Grimble will ultimately be the odd man out Sunday night being as he doesn’t have much special team’s value.