The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Arizona Cardinals 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 2019 season and below is my best guess as to which seven players won’t be given helmets Sunday at State Farm Stadium against the Cardinals.
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.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – While Smith-Schuster was able to resume running this past week, the wide receiver still failed to do anything more than that during practice. He was ultimately ruled out for the Steelers Sunday game against the Cardinals on the team’s Friday injury report. This will mark the third consecutive game that Smith-Schuster has missed since getting injured in Week 11. Hopefully he can get back next Sunday but it’s way too early to tell if that will ultimately be the case.
James Conner – Conner ended the week listed as out on the Steelers Friday injury report and that’s not a bit surprising based on the comments he made Monday evening about his shoulder on his weekly radio show appearance. Conner was only able to practice on a limited basis this past week and hopefully another game off, his third consecutive and fifth this season, will allow for him to get back on the field in Week 15. Look for the Steelers to continue to use running backs Benny Snell Jr., Jaylen Samuels and Kerrith Whyte Jr. on Sunday against the Cardinals with Conner not in uniform again.
Paxton Lynch – Lynch remains the Steelers No. 3 quarterback on the team’s depth chart and barring injuries, that’s going to remain the case moving forward. Lynch has only dressed for one game this season and that was in Week 6 when he backed up Devlin Hodges due to Mason Rudolph being sidelined for that contest with a concussion. Hodges will start again on Sunday against the cardinals and Rudolph will back him up again.
Zach Gentry – Gentry hasn’t dressed for many games this season and he’s now not likely to be in uniform once again on Sunday for the Steelers road game against the Cardinals. With Steelers tight ends Vance McDonald and Nick Vannett both healthy, you can probably look for Gentry to once again be one of the team’s seven inactive players Sunday against the Cardinals. Gentry has only dressed for three games so far this season.
Chukwuma Okorafor – The Steelers have center Maurkice Pouncey back from his two-game suspension this week and that’s great news. The team usually only dresses seven total offensive icemen for games and if that’s the case again on Sunday against the Cardinals, Okorafor will likely be the odd man out and thus be one of the team’s inactive players again. Okorafor has only dressed for a few games this season.
Tuzar Skipper – Skipper has been inactive for every game since returning to the Steelers 53-man roster last month and he’s unlikely to begin dressing on Sunday in Arizona against the Cardinals. With outside linebackers Anthony Chickillo and Olasunkanmi Adeniyi both expected to dress once again and serve as backups on Sunday against the Cardinals, look for Skipper to once again be one of the team’s seven inactive players.
Artie Burns – Burn is finally off the Steelers injury report as of this week. The cornerback was inactive for the last two games with a knee and after practicing fully all week one must wonder if he’ll get his helmet back on Sunday from rookie cornerback Justin Layne. Layne hasn’t played bad on special teams while Burns has been inactive and because of that I’ll guess that the former first-round draft pick finds himself on the inactive list for a third consecutive game on Sunday.