Injuries always make the inactive list a bit easier to predict. This week Aaron Smith is out and Brett Keisel is all but out for his second straight week. Steve McLendon was promoted earlier today to the 53 man roster and rookie linebacker Thaddeus Gibson was waived. Below are the eight players we expect to see on the Steelers inactive list released 90 minutes before kickoff on Sunday night against the New Orleans Saints.
QB Charlie Batch - Byron Leftwich remains the #2 and Batch the emergency #3. You think the Cowboys would kill to have either of these two guys right now?
DE Brett Keisel - It does not seem like the bearded one was even close this week as he did not work any and was not even spotted at all late in the week. Hopefully missing a second straight week will help him as he is sorely needed.
DE Aaron Smith - Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday that the plan is to wait it out with Aaron. Surgery revealed only a partial tear in the triceps and Smith is very optimistic about getting back in about 6 weeks or so. I think that is indeed pushing it, but Tomlin is giving him time to see how it goes early on. Expect to see him here every week for a while on the inactives list.
T Tony Hills - Can you give me a reason why he should have a helmet? I didn\'t think so and I know I can\'t. It would be good to hear how rookie Chris Scott is coming along in his 3 week PUP window. Might make Hills expendable. Probably just wishful thinking on my part as I think Hills time is up. Just the same, Mr. Hills will be down again this week.
WR Antonio Brown - No way the Steelers sit the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, Emmanuel Sanders. Did you catch the block Sanders had on the Hines Ward touchdown last week? I did, hopefully Antonio did as well.
G Ramon Foster - With Trai Essex back and expected to start at right guard, it looks like Foster might be the odd man out and be headed back to the inactive list. It is either him or Keenan Lewis in this spot and Lewis can play special teams.
RB Jonathan Dwyer - I saw some bloggers wanting him cut to make room for McLendon. He made the roster after a poor camp and poor showing in preseason of every part of his game but ball carrying. He made the team for a reason, they were not going to cut him this early and expose him to the waiver wire.
CB Crezdon Butler - Hang on little buddy. Keep on practicing. We know the talent is there and so does the coaching staff.