Actively Predicting the Inactive List: Week 1

By: G.Stryker

Week 1 is finally here! We’re done with meaningless football, and fortunately, the Steelers got through preseason relatively injury free. No major injuries to any starters, and only depth players ended up on Injured Reserve.  Jerald Hawkins is the only player on IR who was on the Roster to end last season. Ryan Shazier will not play this season, being the only player who started last year for the Steelers, but that isn’t a surprise to anyone. The Steelers did stash a lot of talent on IR this season.  Ola Adeniyi, Marcus Tucker, and Trey Johnson are essentially redshirting the season. The Steelers can bring back up to 2 of those players from the IR, if they choose, after 8 games. Eli Rogers is on the PUP and can be brought back after 6 games.

Ramon Foster, JJ Watt, Morgan Burnett, Mike Hilton, Xavier Grimble and Antonio Brown, all seem ready to return this week, after missing large chunks of training camp and preseason practices.  Only Vance McDonald has been ruled out for the game this week.

I track and try to predict timelines for players returning to the field. This is a link to our current spreadsheet. It will get updated on Wed, Thu, and Fri after the practice reports are issued. Bookmark it to see how the health of the Steelers is shaping up each week.

2018 Steelers Injury Roster Tracker

I did an Injury Roster Tracker for last year as well. To check out the final numbers from 2017, check this link:

2017 Final Steelers Injury Roster Tracker

So a mostly healthy Steeler team returns to the field on Sunday.  I believe the inactive players will be:

  1. Vance McDonald: Already listed as out. Definitely on the list
  2. Mason Rudolph: Healthy Scratch/ 3rd QB
  3. Zach Banner: Steelers usually carry 3 OTs on game day, plus Finney could play T in a pinch.
  4. Matt Feiler: We don’t need both interior backup linemen active. BJ Finney should back up all 3 interior line positions.
  5. James Washington: It’s either James or Justin Hunter.  Washington has been injured and lost some snaps to Hunter. They are essentially the same receiver.  Strictly a Z receiver with no special teams duties. They are very close, and I could see this go either way, but I think they go with experience for week 1.
  6. Marcus Allen: Has the least experience this offseason with the secondary.  I believe he is close to getting a hat, and if he does Jordan Dangerfield would be inactive.
  7. Coty Sensabaugh: The last inactive could be weather dependant.  If the weather is going to be rainy and windy the Steelers will go with Daniel McCullers being active and Coty as the last inactive.  Passing will not be as much of an option during high winds and rain.  If it were a nice day, I could see these players being swapped.

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