The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the New Orleans Saints 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 the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
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 – With two games remaining in the regular season Rudolph has still yet to dress for a game as the rookie third-round draft pick 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 will likely spend his entire rookie season on the team’s inactive list as the team’s regular season finale will be a meaningful game. Look for Rudolph to once again be one of the Steelers seven inactive players Sunday against the Saints as Dobbs once again backs up Roethlisberger.
James Conner – An ankle injury suffered late in the Steelers Week 13 Sunday night home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers will once again result in Conner missing a third-consecutive game. Conner ended Friday listed as outs on the Steelers injury report after failing to practice all week. With Conner to be sidelined once again, backup running backs Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley are expected to split the work in the Steelers backfield against the Saints. Additionally, the Steelers recently promoted running back Trey Edmunds is likely to dress again on Sunday against the Saints and help some on special teams.
Zach Banner – Banner will likely remain on the team’s inactive list Sunday against the Saints 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 week ago Saturday 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 again on Sunday against the Saints as the five defensive linemen ahead of him on the team’s depth chart are all still relatively healthy. Barring more injuries, Walton might not dress for another game this season.
Marcus Allen – After making his NFL debut several weekends ago, Allen has since returned to the Steelers inactive list the last few games. In all likelihood, he’ll be inactive again Sunday against the Saints as the four safeties ahead of him on the depth chart are all healthy.
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi – With fellow outside linebacker Bud Dupree able to overcome his bruised knee this week, Adeniyi could once again find himself on the Steelers seven man inactive list ahead of the team’s Sunday game against the Saints. Adeniyi has dressed for just one game since being promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad.
Brian Allen – Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster claims he will play Sunday against the Saints after ending the week listed as questionable on the team’s injury report with a groin injury. If that’s ultimately what happens, the Steelers will likely once again dress all six wide receivers on their 53-man roster like they did last Sunday. That should result in cornerback Brian Allen being inactive once again. In summation, the Steelers Week 16 inactive list is expected to be identical to their Week 15 one.