The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Baltimore Ravens on the road Sunday afternoon, and if you’re like me, you’re counting down the hours until the Week 18 game 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 afternoon in Baltimore 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 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 – Eight weeks ago, Haskins dressed for the first time this season and that was due to starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list that week. Roethlisberger then returned for the Week 12 Sunday night game and remains healthy heading into Week 18, 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 against the Ravens to close out the regular season.
P Corliss Waitman – The Steelers have two punters on their roster to close out the regular season. Waitman punted for the Steelers in the last two games with Pressley Harvin III out for personal reasons. He punted quite well at that. Harvin is now back with the team after dealing with the passing of his father so the steelers certainly will have a decision to make on Sunday. They probably would like to see Harvin close out his rookie season on a positive note so I will guess he’ll be active against the Ravens.
T Dan Moore – Moore ended Friday listed as doubtful with an ankle injury and there was no upgrade on him on Saturday. At this point, it would be a bit surprising if Moore winds up being active on Sunday against the Ravens. If indeed Moore winds up being inactive on Sunday, look for Chukwuma Okorafor to start at left tackle in Baltimore. If Okorafor starts at left tackle, either Zach Banner or Joe Haeg will get the start at right tackle against the Ravens.
DE/DT Henry Mondeaux – The Steelers will hopefully have defensive end Chris Wormley back on Sunday. He should be one of five total defensive linemen that dresses in Baltimore. The steelers have six defensive linemen on their active roster so one will likely be inactive. That one is likely to be either Carlos Davis or Mondeaux. I’m going to bet that it’s Mondeaux. If it’s not, it would be a huge indictment when it comes to Davis and his future.
ILB Tegray Scales – The Steelers now have a slew of inside linebackers back on their active roster with Devin Bush, Joe Schobert and Marcus Allen all being back from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The return of those players should mean that Scales won’t be needed on special teams. I expect at least one linebacker to be inactive on Sunday and I bet it will be Scales.
TE Kevin Rader – The Steelers will be down a wide receiver on Sunday in the form of James Washington as he was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday. Because of that, I think there’s a good chance that running back Anthony McFarland Jr. finally gets a helmet again for the first time in several weeks. The last inactive will likely come down to McFarland and Rader. If McFarland cannot get a helmet on Sunday, one must wonder if he has any future in Pittsburgh.