The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Houston Texans on Sunday 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 Steelers inactives for every game of the 2020 season and below is my best guess as to which players won’t be given helmets Sunday afternoon against the Texans.
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. Also, the new roster rules make this exercise even harder as team’s can promote up to two players from their practice squads to their active roster on gamedays. Team’s also can dress up to 48 players for games if 8 offensive linemen are dressed.
G Derwin Gray – The Steelers should get starting guard David DeCastro back on Sunday after he missed the team’s first two games of the season with a knee injury. Assuming DeCastro is good to go on Sunday, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be, Gray, a backup who was promoted to the 53-man roster last week due to injuries, figures to be the odd man out from that position group. The Steelers will still dress eight offensive linemen against the Texans with Jerald Hawkins, J.C. Hassenauer and rookie Kevin Dotson being the three backups behind the five starters.
QB Joshua Dobbs – Dobbs, as expected, remains the third-string backup quarterback to starter Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph going into the team’s Week 3 game. Barring any injuries, Dobbs is likely to remain the Steelers third quarterback all season so that means he’ll likely be listed quite frequently on the team’s game-day inactive list in 2020. Dobbs has already been inactive twice this season and his third time should happen on Sunday against the Texans.
DT Carlos Davis – Davis, the team’s seventh-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, was inactive for the team’s first two games and on Sunday he’ll likely be on the list of five players once again. With everyone seemingly extremely healthy on the defensive line heading into the Week 3 home game, Davis can probably look forward to not dressing quite a bit throughout his rookie season.
ILB Ulysees Gilbert III – Gilbert, like Dobbs and Davis, has been inactive for every game so far this season. It’s hard to imagine he’ll avoid the list in Week 3 due to cornerback James Pierre and linebacker Marcus Allen both expected to get helmets and contribute on special teams against the Texans. Should Gilbert wind up getting a helmet on Sunday, it would likely come at the expense of either Pierre or Allen. Gilbert was active for seven games as a rookie until a back injury forced him to the Reserve/Injured list in the middle of the season.
TE Zach Gentry – Not a lot needs to go into the last inactive guess this week due to what has transpired the last several weeks. With rookie running back Anthony McFarland Jr. dressing in Week 2 and with him expected to do so again in Week 3, that leaves Gentry as the likeliest candidate to be inactive a third consecutive game on Sunday against the Texans. If Gentry does dress against the Texans, perhaps running back Jaylen Samuels won’t. Samuels, however, has been active for the first two games of the season and there’s no reason to think he won’t get a helmet again on Sunday at Heinz Field against the Texans.