Injuries for the Steelers this week will add a new name to the inactive list this week against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night. Safety Troy Polamalu (ankle) will miss the contest as will WR Arnaz Battle (chest) and Aaron Smith (triceps). All three players were ruled out again on the injury report. Below are the eight players we expect to see on the Steelers inactive list released 90 minutes before kickoff on Thursday night against the Panthers and why.
QB Charlie Batch – No reason to think Charlie will not remain the #3 this week yet again. Too bad he and Byron Leftwich could not get a few snaps before the playofffs start, but it looks highly unlikely going forward.
DE Aaron Smith – The newest news is that he has been fitted with a shoulder harness. Still no reason to think you will see him until the playoffs.
S Troy Polamalu – If this were a playoff game, I bet Polamalu would be in uniform. If the Steelers can\’t beat the Panthers and Browns without him, something is seriously wrong. He was ruled out today on the injury report and will not play likely until the playoffs.
WR Arnaz Battle – The Steelers special teamer was hurt last week against the Jets and is out this week with a chest injury. No timetable if he will miss one or two games, but he should be back by the playoffs.
DT Steve McLendon – He seems to be recovered from his stinger and is listed as probable this week. I list him as probably going to be inactive again.
RB Jonathan Dwyer – Not going to be in the cards for him to get any snaps in the final two games. He stays here baring injury.
T Chris Scott – Much like Dwyer, it is pretty obvious that Scott will be on here for the final two games and playoffs baring injuries to the offensive line.
CB Keenan Lewis – Hard to tell if the Steelers will let Keenan out of the dog house due to the injury to Battle to help on special teams. Mike Tomlin might want Tony Hills active in case of a blow-out to get him some snaps and rest another tackle. This is pretty much a coin flip, but I guess Lewis stays down instead of Hills. Could go either way.