The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their fifteenth game of the 2017 regular season on the road Monday against the Houston Texans with a chance to improve their record to 12-3 and secure a first-round playoff bye. 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 Monday afternoon at NGR Stadium in Houston.
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 No. 3 quarterback will be inactive for a 15th consecutive game Sunday and as a result of the Steelers Week 15 loss to the New England Patriots he’ll likely wind up being inactive for the regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns as well, barring any injuries. Had the Steelers beaten the Patriots than Dobbs likely would’ve been able to dress in Week 17.
Antonio Brown – A calf injury that he suffered against the Patriots last Sunday will result in Brown missing his first regular season game since the team’s finale last season against the Browns. The last game that Brown missed due to injury was the Steelers Divisional Round playoff game against the Denver Broncos and that was due to a concussion. Brown will likely also miss this year’s finale against the Browns and the hope is the Steelers will get a first-round bye in the playoffs which would in turn give their star wide receiver an extra week of recover time. With Brown out this week wide receiver Justin Hunter is expected to dress in his placer.
Daniel McCullers – The Steelers usually only dress five defensive linemen in total and with all five regulars healthy, McCullers wuill likely find himself on the inactive list once again Monday afternoon. McCullers, by the way, has played all of 11 defensive snaps this season in the five games that he’s dressed for. Monday will likely mark the fifth consecutive game he’s been inactive.
Matt Feiler – Feiler has been on the Steelers inactive list the last six games and there’s no reason to believe that will change Monday in Houston. With tackle Marcus Gilbert now back from his four-game suspension, his back up Chris Hubbard will go back to being an extra tight end and reserve tackle. Even with guard Ramon Foster currently questionable for Monday’s game because of a concussion, Feiler will still likely be on the inactive list if the starter isn’t able to play against the Texans.
Jerald Hawkins – As just mentioned, Gilbert being back with the team will have a domino effect of sorts. Assuming Foster is allowed to play against the Texans, Hawkins, who dressed for the four games that Gilbert was suspended for, will likely join fellow Steelers offensive lineman Feiler on the team’s inactive list. If, however, Foster sits Monday, Hawkins will likely dress in his place.
J.J. Wilcox – Wilcox has been inactive for the last two games and with cornerback Joe Haden expected to return from his injury on Monday, it’s likely the safety will find himself on the inactive list yet again.
Coty Sensabaugh – Is Sensabaugh now the odd cornerback out now that Haden is back? That could wind up being the case and especially being as Sensabaugh ended the week listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. Should Sensabaugh wind up dressing against the Texans then perhaps new running back Stevan Ridley won’t. Ridley really doesn’t have much to offer as a special teams player and it’s hard to believe he’s passed fellow running back Fitzgerald Toussaint on the depth chart already.