The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Balimore Ravens on Wednesday 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 Wednesday afternoon against the Ravens.
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.
QB Joshua Dobbs – Dobbs remains the third-string backup quarterback to starter Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph going into the team’s Week 12 game and that’s not a bit surprising. Barring any injuries, Dobbs is likely to remain the Steelers third quarterback the remainder of the season so that means he will likely remain a mainstay on the team’s game-day inactive list in 2020. Dobbs has already been inactive ten times this season and his eleventh time should happen on Wednesday against the Ravens.
RB Jaylen Samuels – Samuels injured his quadricep in the Steelers Week 10 win against the Cincinnati Bengals and after failing to practice since, he was again finally ruled out for the Week 12 home game against the Ravens on the team’s injury report a few days ago. With Samuels out injured and with fellow running backs James Conner and Trey Edmunds now on Reserve/COVID-19 and Reserve/Injured, respectively, the Steelers are down o just two running backs on the 53-man roster in Benny Snell Jr. and rookie Anthony McFarland Jr. It’s expected that running back Wendell Smallwood will be elevated from the practice squad on Wednesday as the team still has one open roster spot to fill as of Tuesday night. If that’d the case, Smallwood should be active for Wednesday’s game as a third running back.
OLB Jayrone Elliott – Elliott has been inactive the last two games with the most recent time including him essentially being a healthy scratch. the Steelers shouldn’t need to dress all nine linebackers on Wednesday and especially with safety Antoine Brooks Jr. being elevated on Monday as special teams help. In short, it will be very surprising if Elliott isn’t on the Wednesday afternoon inactive list.
DE Isaiah Buggs – Buggs spent most of last week on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list as a close contact individual. While the Steelers will be without defensive end Stephon Tuitt on Wednesday because of him testing positive for the virus, it’s still not a guarantee that Buggs will dress. The last few games we have seen rookie defensive tackle Carlos Davis get a helmet and if the Steelers only wind up dressing five total defensive lineman on Wednesday, Buggs has a good shot at being the odd man out.
TE Kevin Rader – The Steelers have yet to dress three tight ends for a game this season and so with veteran tight end Vance McDonald now off the Reserve/COVID-19 list, he’s had plenty of time to get himself ready and conditioned to play on Wednesday against the Ravens. If that’s the case and McDonald dresses, it will be hard to make an argument for Rader to get a helmet. Had this game been played Thanksgiving night, there’s a small chance that Rader would have dressed over McDonald.