Saturday could once again be a busy day for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they will almost certainly make at least one transaction by the time 4:00 p.m. EST rolls around.
One big thing to watch for on Saturday for the Steelers is tackle Zach Banner potentially being activated from the Reserve/Injured list to the 53-man roster. Banner resumed practicing this past week as a designated-to-return player and he might just be ready to play on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
With Steelers tackle Chukwuma Okorafor (concussion) and guard Rashaad Coward (ankle) both officially ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Packers on the Friday injury report, the team does not have eight healthy linemen on their 53-man roster to make active on Sunday. That’s important because team’s can only dress 48 players for games if eight offensive linemen are included in that number. In short, the Steelers will need to either activate Banner from the Reserve/Injured list or activate tackle Chaz Green from the practice squad on Saturday. I believe we are guaranteed to see one of those two things happen.
If Banner is indeed activated to the 53-man roster on Saturday, odds are good that he’ll start on Sunday at right tackle against the Packers. Should, however, Banner not get activated on Saturday, look for Joe Haeg to start at right tackle on Sunday and be backed up by Green.
A Saturday activation of Banner to the 53-man roster would necessitate the Steelers making a reciprocal move to accommodate him. Perhaps Coward or defensive tackle Carlos Davis (knee) might be placed on the Reserve/Injured list. Coward and Davis are both set to be inactive come Sunday after being ruled out on Friday so moving one to the Reserve/Injured list on Saturday would create one open inactive spot that would need to be filled on Sunday.
The Steelers also go into the weekend with wide receiver Chase Claypool (hamstring) listed as questionable on the injury report after he failed to practice on Friday. Claypool’s hamstring injury, which seems to have surfaced on Thursday, could result in the Steelers once again activating wide receiver Cody White to the roster from the practice squad on Saturday. Fellow practice squad wide receiver Steven Sims might be an option other than White as well.
For now, Okorafor, Coward, Davis and quarterback Dwayne Haskins are all set to be inactive on Sunday and unfortunately it seems that Claypool might just be on that list as well. Rookie inside linebacker Buddy Johnson and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon both seem poised to be inactive on Sunday as well. What happens on Saturday, however, could result in Sunday’s projected inactive list being altered.
We will pass along the Steelers Saturday transactions as soon as the team announces them. Look for those to come around 4:00 p.m. EST.