The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon at home 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 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.
Mason Rudolph – Rudolph, who was selected in the third-round this year, has spent his entire season on the team’s inactive list as the No. 3 quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Joshua Dobbs. With Sundays home game against the Bengals being a very meaningful one, Rudolph will likely close out the regular season on the team’s seven-player inactive list.
Vince Williams – A toe injury suffered by Williams in the second half of the Steelers Week 16 road loss to the New Orleans Saints prevented him from practicing all week. At the conclusion of the Steelers Friday practice Williams was listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Bengals on the team’s injury report. In short, it’s very likely that Williams will be inactive on Sunday. He was also inactive for one game earlier in the season with a hamstring injury.
Zach Banner – Banner will likely remain on the team’s inactive list Sunday against the Bengals as he’s only dressed for one game so far this season. The Steelers placed tackle Marcus Gilbert on the team’s Reserve/Injured list a few weeks ago and so Banner is now likely to be the only offensive lineman listed on the team’s Sunday inactive list.
L.T. Walton – Walton has dressed for just a few games this season due to injuries suffered by other defensive linemen. The team should not need Walton once again on Sunday against the Bengals as the five defensive linemen ahead of him on the team’s depth chart are all healthy.
Stevan Ridley – The Steelers might get running back James Conner back from his ankle injury on Sunday as he was able to practice fully all three days. If that indeed happens, rookie running back Jaylen Samuels would likely back up Conner. Ridley, who had a crucial fourth quarter fumble last Sunday in the team’s road loss to the Saints, could be sat down this week and especially with him not being a huge special teams contributor. Instead, and assuming Conner dresses, look for running back Trey Edmunds to also dress Sunday over Ridley against the Bengals as the team’s No. 3 running back.
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi – Even with Williams not likely to dress on Sunday, the Steelers should be fine at the linebacker position. Additionally, with all four outside linebackers not on the injury report this week, Adeniyi might find himself on the inactive list again and that would make sense with him not being a huge special teams asset.
Brian Allen – Steelers safety Sean Davis will likely play on Sunday against the Bengals even though he did end the week listed as questionable on the team’s Friday injury report. Assuming Davis dresses and Williams and Adeniyi don’t, that might open up a helmet for rookie safety Marcus Allen to help out on special teams. If the other six predictive inactives turn out to be correct, the seventh and final one figures to be one of the two Allens. I’ll guess that it’s Brian and not Marcus that sits out again Sunday against the Bengals.