Actively Predicting the Inactive List: Week 2

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For Week 2, the injury news has been pretty active. The biggest news was Stephon Tuitt and his bicep injury. Fortunately he dodged the bullet for a severe injury, so he is on the 1-3 week recovery road for that type of injury. Tuitt didn’t practice this week, and doesn’t look good to play this Sunday. If he doesn’t play, Dan McCullers should earn a hat this week as the extra DL.

JJ Wilcox was injured on that goal line hit that also earned him a $25k fine (pending appeal). He is in concussion protocol, and practiced partially on Friday. Players in concussion protocol must practice fully, and be symptom free the following day, to be cleared to play. It doesn’t look good for JJ playing this week since he didn’t practice fully.

Sean Davis and Vance McDonald both had setbacks on Thursday. Good news is Davis practiced fully on Fri, and was left off of the game’s injury report, so he should start. McDonald was limited Friday, but is still trending up, and could possibly be ready for Sunday. Vance will be the toughest call to project this week.

The best news is Bud Dupree is trending up! He was limited Wed and Thu, but practiced fully Fri, so that, paired with him not being listed on the injury report, means he will play on Sunday. That is bad news for Arthur Moats though, as he will probably be the inactive linebacker for the game.

I continually update the Injury/Suspension/Inactive spreadsheet, and have now added fines to the bottom of it. Bookmark it to track the status of the Steelers each week. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ITv8kcpFE-jqlzgwBpNh0D31bL2YqJnw7a61v3wb33g/edit?usp=sharing

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

1. Jerald Hawkins: Didn’t practice this week and is already listed as out.

2. Josh Dobbs: Healthy Scratch/ 3rd QB

3. Stephon Tuitt: He didn’t practice all week, so my bet is he won’t be active

4. JJ Wilcox: He is still in concussion protocol, and hasn’t met the qualification of clearing a full practice, so I project him to be sitting for the game.

5. Matt Feiler: Feiler was inactive last week, and should be inactive again this week, as the Steelers prefer to dress 7 offensive linemen.

6. Arthur Moats: Bud is back, and Moats only played 4 snaps last week. Being 3rd on the depth chart puts him in street clothes this week.

7. This is the toughest call. If Vance is hurt, then he is the pick. If he can go it’s down to 2 players: Justin Hunter and Brian Allen. Both were inactive last week. I’m starting to think that Hunter may be active, since the WRs, other than Antonio Brown, were not impactful last week. Hunter may be a good option to push the others to play harder, and to have some results while getting valuable snaps. Since Vance practiced Friday albeit partially, I will trend him up to being able to play in 2 days. That means Brian Allen will be my call to be inactive this week.

There is still an outside chance of calling Hooks or Hagen up from the practice squad, but that would mean cutting a valuable player. Since Tuitt’s injury seems to be minimal, it doesn’t make sense to expose a player for the sake of a 1-2 week need. Since Wilcox practiced partially, even though I project him being out, I think they will go with the personnel that they have. Gay can fill in at safety in a pinch.

Last week I correctly picked all 7 inactive players and correctly picked Steven Johnson being cut. Now Johnson is on the roster, and LJ Fort, who was cut to replace him, is on the practice squad. Matt Galambos was cut from the practice squad to make room for LJ.

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