The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Buffalo Bills on the road on Sunday afternoon in their fifth game of the 2022 regular season 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 2022 season and below is my best guess as to which players won’t be given helmets on Sunday at Highmark Stadium against the Bills.
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 elevate up to two players from their practice squads to their active roster for gamedays. Team’s also can dress up to 48 players for games if eight offensive linemen are dressed.
QB Mason Rudolph – Rudolph has yet to be active through the first four weeks of the 2022 regular season as he has been the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart. While the Steelers have now made rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett their new starter as of Week 5, nothing will change when it comes to Rudolph as former starter Mitch Trubisky will now be the team’s gameday backup. Barring injuries, Rudolph should remain a gameday inactive for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see if the team trades him ahead of the November 1 deadline to do. As of right now, however, there are no indications that they will.
CB Ahkello Witherspoon – The Steelers ended Friday with Witherspoon listed as out on the team’s Week 5 injury report due to a hamstring injury that he sustained during the Week 3 game. This will make a second consecutive game missed for Witherspoon and it should result in cornerback Levi Wallace once again starring in his place on Sunday against the Bills. With Witherspoon sidelined once again, the Steelers elevated cornerback Josh Jackson from the team’s practice squad ion Saturday and that should result in him dressing on Sunday against the Bills.
S Terrell Edmunds – The Steelers downgraded Edmunds from questionable to out on their injury report on Sunday due to a concussion he suffered last Sunday. Edmunds had entered the weekend listed as questionable in the injury report. With Edmunds now ruled out for Sunday, he’ll be on the inactive list and that should result in safety Tre Norwood getting a start. This will mark the first time this season that Edmunds will be inactive for a game.
G Kendrick Green – The Steelers have dressed eight of their nine total offensive linemen in their first four games of the 2022 regular season and Green has been the odd man out in that position group for all four of those contests. That’s not likely to change on Sunday afternoon against the Bills so you can expect Green to once again be one of the team’s inactive players. Jesse Davis has essentially been serving as the backup swing guard so far this season with Trent Scott serving as the top swing tackle. Additionally, J.C. Hassenauer remains the team’s top backup at the center position. Barring injuries, expect Green to continue to be inactive for several more games this season.
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk – The Steelers have been dressing rookie defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal over Loudermilk in their first four games of the 2022 season as part of the team having six total defensive linemen in helmets for games. Leal figures to dress again on Sunday against the Bills so the trend with Loudermilk being inactive figures to be extended. It feels doubtful that the Steelers will dress all seven defensive linemen on Sunday. The Steelers have been using Leal quite a bit as part of their 3-3-5 defensive personnel groupings. Looking ahead, it will likely take an injury for Loudermilk to get a helmet on gamedays.
ILB Mark Robinson – In addition to Rudolph, Green and Loudermilk failing to be active for games so far this season, the same goes for Robinson, one of the team’s draft picks this year. The Steelers have been dressing four inside linebackers every week and that has left Robinson as the odd man out. Barring a surprise on Sunday, it seems like we can expect Robinson to be inactive once again on Sunday against the Bills. It will likely take an injury within the position group for him to get a gameday helmet. Hopefully the team will consider dressing Robinson later in the season.
WR Gunner Olszewski – The Steelers are expected to let wide receiver Steven Sims take over as the team’s returner on Sunday so if indeed that’s the case, Olszewski will likely be on the inactive list for the first time this season. It’s very unlikely that the team will dress all six of the wide receivers they currently have on their 53-man roster so that easily makes Olszewski the odd man out against the Bills on Sunday. Sims has yet to dress for a game this season and he only dressed for one last season. Olszewski was effectively benched because he fumbled twice in the last three games while returning punts.