The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Jacksonville Jaguars 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 TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
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 Jaguars.
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 fourth consecutive game that Gilbert has missed and his fifth of the season. With Gilbert sidelined on Sunday we should see backup offensive lineman Matt Feiler start in his place at right tackle once again.
Stephon Tuitt – An elbow injury suffered a week ago Thursday against the Carolina Panthers will prevent Tuitt from playing Sunday afternoon against the Jaguars. The Steelers officially ruled Tuitt out for Sunday’s on their Friday injury report after he failed to practice all week and that means backup defensive end Tyson Alualu will likely start in his place against the Jaguars. Tuitt’s injury has been described as a hyperextension and hopefully he’ll be able to resume practicing next week. Tuitt also became a father for a second time on Friday. With Tuitt out Sunday, defensive tackle Daniel McCullers should be back active now that he’s recovered from his ankle injury that sidelined him against the Panthers. Additionally, Tuitt being sidelined on Sunday should result in backup defensive lineman L.T. Walton dressing for a second consecutive game.
Zach Banner – With Gilbert out again this week and Feiler expected to start in his place again at right tackle, you can expect to see Banner on the team’s pregame inactive list Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville. The Steelers generally only dress seven offensive linemen in total for games so that will result in Banner being the odd one out again. Banner has dressed for just one game so far this season and that was back in Week 3.
Marcus Allen – Allen has yet to dress for a game this season and that’s not likely to change Sunday afternoon against the Jaguars. 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 a tenth consecutive game.
Brian Allen – With all the cornerbacks ahead of him on the depth chart still healthy, this Allen can also expect to once again be on the Steelers inactive list Sunday afternoon. 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 will likely have one wide receiver on their seven-player inactive list Sunday afternoon 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 eight games that he’s dressed for so far this season, he has registered quite a few offensive snaps in the team’s last few 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, his chances of dressing on Sunday against the Jaguars are very, very slim.