Now that we have the Steelers Friday injury report out, it is time to read the tea leaves and see who may or may not get hats this week for the Steelers. Due to the numerous injuries, there is not too much guess work involved this week in the inactive list. Below is my guess at the Steelers 8 inactives this week.
QB Byron Leftwich – As nice that it is to see him back practicing with a knee brace and getting a probable listing this week on the injury report, it is hard to imagine that he will be anything more than a number 3 emergency quarterback this week. It will be nice to see if he indeed dresses and warms up with both Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch in pregame, but it is still pretty early to expect him to be game ready. Perhaps next week he will be the backup or even start depending how this week goes for Dixon.
Ramon Foster – Steve McLendon was promoted to the active roster on Saturday and Leftwich was released. In all likelihood this mean that Ramon Foster will be the 8th inactive player now.
T Max Starks – Starks did not work any day this week at practice and has been ruled out for this week. This now means that reserve tackle Jonathan Scott will likely start at left tackle and that reserve tackle Tony Hills will get a helmet this week after being down last week. I really expect Starks to be down at least one more week, especially if the Steelers win this week in Nashville.
NT Casey Hampton – Big Snack is in the same boat as Starks as he too did not work all week. Chris Hoke gets the start in his place and by the sounds of a recent Hampton interview, I expect him to miss multiple weeks as well. Just a hunch.
WR Emmanuel Sanders – The rookie receiver hurt his quad it seems during the week and has not been able to recover. Sanders even noted on his Facebook page that he expects to be down this week. Fellow rookie wide receiver Antonio Brown will be up in his place and will likely get a shot at returning kicks and serve as the 4th wide receiver in four wide sets.
LB Jason Worilds – Worilds is likely down with a shoulder injury which means fellow rookie Thaddeus Gibson will likely be up this week. Worilds made a huge statement on kick coverages last week and Gibson will be expected to fill that same role this week.
RB Jonathan Dwyer – As I mentioned last week, expect Dwyer here on this list for most of the season baring injury. He is a ways away from being active on game days.
CB Crezdon Butler – I can\’t see the need for Butler to be up this week as Bryant McFadden practiced fully on Friday. Just a numbers game here.
CB Keenan Lewis – Lewis must still be in the Mike Tomlin dog house and I think he will be down again this week as he was deep in the rotation at corner in practice this week even on days that McFadden was limited. The Steelers will likely opt to have the extra lineman up this week in Ramon Foster instead, but this is not locked in stone and you could just as easily see Foster inactive and Lewis up instead.