The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Los Angeles Rams Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field 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 2019 season and below is my best guess as to which seven players won’t be given helmets Sunday against the Rams.
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.
Benny Snell Jr. – The Steelers rookie running back suffered a knee injury a few weeks ago and surgery quickly followed. Snell missed the team’s Week 9 game and after failing to practice again all this week he was ruled out for the Sunday home game against the Rams on the Friday injury report. With a short week to follow the Sunday game against the Rams, it’s likely that Snell will miss the Week 11 road game as well and hopefully he can return to action in Week 12 should that ultimately be the case.
Ramon Foster – Foster was ruled out for the Steelers Sunday game against the Rams on the team’s Friday injury report due to a concussion he suffered in the first half of the team’s Monday night home game a few weeks ago. Foster had indicated earlier in the week that he thought he’d be ready to play against the Rams but he went backwards in practice this week after being limited on Wednesday. This will make two games in a row that Foster has missed and it will now be interesting to see if he can return to action in Week 11 with that being a short week with the game being on Thursday night. With Foster ruled out for Sunday against the Rams, reports indicate that right tackle Matt Feiler will move over and start at left guard Sunday against the Rams. Last Sunday it was backup interior offensive lineman B.J. Finney who started in place of Foster at left guard.
James Conner – Conner, who ended the week listed as out on the Steelers Friday injury report due to a shoulder injury suffered late in the team’s Week 8 Monday night game, never “perked up” this week like head coach Mike Tomlin hoped he would. Conner went backwards on the injury report this past week like Foster did and it will result in him missing a second consecutive game. Once again, the Steelers have a short week on tap following Sundays game against the Rams and it will be interesting to see how many players that are sidelined this week can make it back for Thursday night. With Conner out again, Jaylen Samuels is expected to start in his place and be backed up by Trey Edmunds.
Roosevelt Nix – Nix recently re-aggravated a knee injury that forced him to miss five games earlier in the season and on Friday he was officially ruled out for the team’s Sunday home game against the Rams after he failed to practice all week. Nix originally injured his knee in Week 1 and didn’t return to action until after the bye in Week 8.
Paxton Lynch – The Steelers still look poised to keep Lynch on their 53-man roster for the remainder of the season as their No. 3 quarterback. Lynch isn’t expected to dress Sunday against the Rams, however, and thus figures to be one of the team’s seven inactive players 90 minutes ahead of kickoff.
Zach Gentry – Even though Nix is out, the Steelers still have two tight ends in Vance McDonald and Nick Vannett and they also use tackle Zach Banner as a blocking one several times a game. Gentry has yet to find his footing on offense and hasn’t been helpful on special teams to boot. In short, it’s hard to imagine Gentry dressing on Sunday against the Rams and thus he’s likely to be a healthy scratch once again.
L.T. Walton – The Steelers final inactive on Sunday against the Rams figures to come down to a choice between Walton and rookie cornerback Justin Layne. If that’s ultimately the case, Layne’s ability to provide some help on special teams might be the determining factor. Since being signed a few weeks ago, Walton has yet to dress for a game as rookie defensive end Isaiah Buggs has been getting the fifth defensive lineman helmet. Layne has only dressed for three games so far this season but appears to be a good candidate to get a fourth helmet on Sunday against the Rams with so many players out this week due to injuries.