The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Denver Broncos Sunday afternoon on the road and if you’re like me, you’re counting down the hours until the game begins. As usual, I will attempt to project the seven inactives for every Steelers game of the 2018 season and below is my best guess as to which seven players won’t be given helmets Sunday afternoon at Mile High Stadium in Denver.
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.
Mason Rudolph – Rudolph has yet to dress for a game so far this season as the rookie third-round draft remains at the bottom of the quarterback depth chart behind second-year signal caller Joshua Dobbs. Barring an injury to either Dobbs or starter Ben Roethlisberger, Rudolph only get a chance to dress for the Steelers regular season finale should that contest ultimately become a meaningless one. Look for Rudolph to once again be one of the Steelers seven inactive players Sunday afternoon against the Broncos.
Marcus Gilbert – Gilbert once again ended the week listed as out on the Steelers official injury report after he failed to practice all three days because of a knee injury that has been bothering him since the team’s bye. Sunday afternoon will mark the fifth consecutive game that Gilbert has missed and his sixth of the season. With Gilbert sidelined on Sunday we could see rookie tackle Chukwuma Okorafor start in his place at right tackle.
Stephon Tuitt – An elbow injury suffered a few weeks ago against the Carolina Panthers will prevent Tuitt from playing Sunday afternoon against the Broncos. The Steelers officially ruled Tuitt out for Sunday’s game on their Friday injury report after he failed to practice all week and that means backup defensive end Tyson Alualu will likely once again start in his place against the Broncos. Additionally, Tuitt being sidelined again on Sunday should result in backup defensive lineman L.T. Walton dressing for a third consecutive game.
Matt Feiler – Feiler suffered a pectoral injury late in the Steelers Week 11 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars and he ended the week listed as questionable on the team’s Friday injury report after only being able to practice on a limited basis twice to close out the week. It’s hard to know if Feiler will ultimately be able to play Sunday in Denver as he could wind up being a game-time decision. I’ll guess that Feiler will ultimately be inactive and that Okorafor will start in his place against the Broncos. If that indeed happens, look for backup tackle Zach Banner to get a helmet for just the second time this season. If Feiler dresses, however, Banner would likely be on the inactive list.
Marcus Allen – Allen has yet to dress for a game this season and that’s not likely to change Sunday afternoon against the Broncos. The Steelers are currently very healthy at the safety position and that means the Penn State product and 2018 fifth-round selection won’t dress for an eleventh consecutive game.
Brian Allen – With all the cornerbacks ahead of him on the depth chart still very healthy, this Allen can also expect to once again be on the Steelers inactive list Sunday afternoon in Denver. Since being promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad in Week 5, Allen has only dressed for two games and none since the team’s bye week.
Justin Hunter – The Steelers are likely to have one wide receiver on their seven-player inactive list once again and odds are good that Hunter will once again draw the short straw. While rookie James Washington hasn’t contributed much of any in the nine games that he’s now dressed for so far this season, he has registered quite a few offensive snaps in the team’s last several games in addition to playing some on special teams. Hunter isn’t a special teams asset and with the Steelers currently being a very healthy team at the wide receiver position, his chances of dressing on Sunday against the Broncos will be very, very slim.