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Actively Predicting the Inactive List: Week 14

This week marks the most serious football injury to date for the 2017 Steelers. Ryan Shazier injured his back on a head first tackle, and the reports coming in are not positive. The good news was Ryan had feeling in his toes, but there were no reports of him being able to move his legs. Then he had spinal stabilization surgery on Wednesday night at UPMC, most likely to fuse dislocated disks, giving him the best chance to regain leg function. Though I am optimistic his surgery will return function to his legs, I am less optimistic that he will return to the Steelers this year. Moving forward, it is difficult to know whether he will ever play football again, but the important thing is Shazier gets back on his feet for his family. I expect Shazier being placed on IR next week to balance the roster with JuJu Smith-Schuster returning from suspension. This week JuJu does not count against the roster, and was the reason why Sean Spence was added to the roster without the Steelers having to cut a player.

Tyler Matakevich replaced Shazier and injured his shoulder. He did not practice this week. Joe Haden also is still rehabbing his fibula and is did not practice. Both have been listed as out and will not play against the Ravens.

Antonio Brown is still minding his toe injury. He didn’t practice on Thursday, but practiced fully on Wed and Friday. TJ Watt also mirrored AB’s practice attendance this week with a knee injury, that may have occurred in the game or in Wednesday’s practice. The good news is neither of them are listed on the injury report and both should expect to be starting on Sunday night.

Mike Mitchell started the week strong, practicing fully on Wed and Thu, but was limited on Friday. As a result, he is questionable with his ankle injury that kept him from playing last week. Vance McDonald practiced fully all week, and is not listed on the injury report. I expect him to start at tight end this week, which is good news for both the running game, and the vertical passing game.

I update the Injury/Suspension/Inactive/Fine spreadsheet daily. Bookmark it to track the status for the Steelers each week. Click HERE

There will be 7 inactive players for the game this week. I believe they will be:

1. Josh Dobbs: Healthy Scratch/ 3rd QB

2. Joe Haden: Haden is listed at out and will not play.

3. Ryan Shazier The most important thing is Ryan gets healthy enough to enjoy his life. Whether he returns to playing football is secondary to his overall health. Thank you for serving the Steelers with all of your heart and ability. #SHALIEVE

4. Tyler Matakevich: He didn’t practice all week and is listed as out, so he will not be playing this week.

5. Matt Feiler: Matt seems to have been replaced on the depth chart by Jerald Hawkins, who is not only active, but is getting offensive snaps. Matt should be inactive again this week.

6. Dan McCullers: Big Dan was inactive last week and probably will be inactive again this week.

7. EDIT Brian Allen will be last inactive this week if Mitchell plays. Mitchell has a chance of missing this game, but after his impassioned locker room speech, I would love to see him bring that emotion to the field this week. Brian Allen has really improved on special teams, but with Sutton getting first team snaps last game, there is a low chance of him missing this game, and he even has a chance to start. If he starts, Coty Sensabaugh would still serve as a backup outside corner, making Brian Allen the odd man out.

Week 13 was a better week and I went 6 for 7. Bringing my yearly total to 71/84.

12/9/17 8:30am EDIT. Justin Hunter should play since JuJu is suspended.

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