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 Eagles.
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.
FB Derek Watt – The Steelers fullback suffered a hamstring injury in the teams Week 3 game. After failing to practice this past week because of his injury, Watt was officially ruled out for Sundays game against the Eagles on the Friday injury report. This will mark the first game that watt has missed as an NFL player. His loss will be felt a little on offense and a lot on special teams. With Watt down on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if running back Trey Edmunds is promoted from the Steelers practice squad on Saturday or Sunday to fill the void on special teams. That’s what I’m betting will happen.
S Marcus Allen – Like Watt, Allen will miss Sundays game against the Eagles due to an injury. Allen, who has yet to play a defensive snap so far this season, suffered a foot injury during the Steelers week 3 game. That plantar fasciitis resulted in him failing to practice this past week and he was ultimately ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Eagles on the team’s Friday injury report. With Allen safely ruled out for Sunday’s game, backup inside linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III should finally get a helmet in his place. Gilbert. who has yet to dress for a game this season, should fill Allen’s role on special teams against the Eagles
G Derwin Gray – The Steelers got starting guard David DeCastro back in Week 3 and that resulted in Gray being one of the team’s five inactive players for that home Sunday game. The Steelers offensive line depth chart enters Week 5 fully healthy and that should result once again in Gray not getting a helmet on Sunday against the Eagles. Even with Gray inactive, the Steelers will still dress eight offensive linemen against the Eagles with Jerald Hawkins, J.C. Hassenauer and rookie Kevin Dotson being the three primary backups behind the team’s five starters.
QB Joshua Dobbs – Dobbs, as expected, still remains the third-string backup quarterback to starter Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph going into the team’s Week 5 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 three times this season and his fourth time should happen on Sunday against the Eagles.
DT Carlos Davis – Davis, the team’s seventh-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, was inactive for the team’s first three games and on Sunday against the Eagles he’ll likely be on the list of five or six players once again. With everyone seemingly extremely healthy on the defensive line heading into the Week 5 home game, Davis can probably look forward to not dressing for games quite a bit throughout his rookie season.
TE Zach Gentry – A tiny bit needs to go into the last inactive guess this week due to the situation the Steelers have with Watt. While the stage is set for Gentry to dress on Sunday in place of Watt if the Steelers roster stands pat at 53 players, the team can promote up to two more players in the next 24 hours should they choose to. Gentry is not a special teams demon so that hurts his cause when it comes to him potentially getting Watt’s helmet on Sunday against the Eagles. Additionally, the Steelers other two tight ends are fully healthy. The aforementioned Edmunds does have a lot of special teams experience so he’s likely to be promoted from the Steelers practice squad in the next 24 hours. If not Edmunds, practice squad outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott is also a candidate to be promoted to the roster on Sunday. If Edmunds or Elliott are promoted, whichever one is would then likely dress in place of Watt and that would result in Gentry being one of six inactive players against the Eagles.