The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Kansas City Chiefs on the road Sunday night in a Super Wild Card Week playoff game, and if you’re like me, you’re counting down the hours until it begins. As usual, I will attempt to project the Steelers’ inactives for every game of the 2021 season, and below is my best guess as to which players won’t be given helmets on Sunday night in Kansas City.
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 teams can elevate up to two players from their practice squads to their active roster for gamedays. Teams also can dress up to 48 players for games if eight offensive linemen are dressed.
QB Dwayne Haskins – Haskins only dressed for one game during the regular season, and that was due to starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in Week 10. Roethlisberger returned for the next game and remained healthy ever since, which is the same for backup quarterback Mason Rudolph. Haskins has been back on the inactive list ever since Roethlisberger returned from the COVID-19 list. Expect Haskins to be inactive again on Sunday night the Chiefs.
ILB Tegray Scales – Scales was not needed last Sunday in the regular season finale, and he shouldn’t be needed Sunday night against the Chiefs. Steelers now have a slew of inside linebackers back on their active roster after losing a few of them to the Reserve/COVID-19 list a few weeks ago. I expect at least one inside linebacker to be inactive on Sunday, and I bet it will be Scales. Expect inside linebackers Devin Bush, Joe Schobert, Robert Spillane, Marcus Allen and Ulysees Gilbert III to all be active Sunday night against the Chiefs
DT Carlos Davis – Davis didn’t get a helmet over Henry Mondeaux last Sunday in the regular season finale, and so because of that, its hard to imagine that the 2020 seventh-round draft pick out of Nebraska will be active Sunday night against the Chiefs. The Steelers should dress five defensive linemen in total with Mondeaux likely to be one of them.
RB Anthony McFarland Jr. – The Steelers won’t likely need the services of McFarland again on Sunday night, and so we should expect the second-year running back out of Maryland to be on the inactive list once again, especially with starting running back Najee Harris being removed from the injury report on Saturday. McFarland hasn’t been active for a game since Week 12, and that’s been very disappointing to see overall. Expect the Steelers to once again dress running backs Benny Snell Jr. and Kalen Ballage over McFarland.
WR Cody White – The Steelers got wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster back from the Reserve/Injured list on Saturday, and that now gives the team six wide receivers in total. One likely won’t dress Sunday night. In short, the odd man out could be White. That said, White does play some on special teams and that could force him into a helmet and especially with cornerback James Pierre now on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. If he does get a helmet for special teams purposes, wide receiver James Washington might wind up being inactive instead.