As far as how the inactive list will look on Saturday prior to the Divisional Round playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, there really is only one slot that would be considered hard to nail down. As expected, Aaron Smith is still not ready to play. although not ruled out yet, he is listed as doubtful on the Friday injury report. It is a near lock that rookie Jonathan Dwyer and Chris Scott will be inactive. Tony Hills and Steve McLendon look to take their usual spots on the list as well. Charlie Batch is nearly certain to be the inactive 3rd QB. That leaves just 2 spots left to guess and one is surely to be either Crezdon Butler or Keenan Lewis and perhaps both. Below are the eight players we expect to see on the Steelers inactive list released 90 minutes before kickoff on Saturday against the Ravens and why.
QB Charlie Batch – Should the Steelers lose, this very well could be the last time you see Batch in a Steelers jersey. He is a near lock to be the #3 emergency inactive QB on Saturday.
DE Aaron Smith – Should the Steelers advance, there might be an outside chance he could play in the AFC Championship game, but it really is looking more like Super Bowl or bust for him. He has been limited at practice so that is a good sign he is back working.
RB Jonathan Dwyer – Dwyer dressed for the first time in week 17 against the Browns with Mewelde Moore sidelined with a knee injury. He still lacks in the little things like blocking and blitz pickup. He has a long way to go in the offseason. He looks lost at times. He can run with the ball, so he has that going for him.
DT Steve McLendon – There is no reason to believe McLendon will dress on Saturday with all of the usual suspects healthy.
T Tony Hills – Hills time on the Steelers roster is closer to coming to an end as it would be hard to see them bringing him back next year.
T Chris Scott – Steelers will just dress 7 linemen and Scott has yet to dress since coming off PUP. He will fight for a spot in 2011, likely as a backup.
CB Crezdon Butler – With everyone getting healthy, it seems that it will be unlikely that Butler will dress this week. I would not consider this pick a lock, but Butler really has only played on special teams.
CB Keenan Lewis – Lewis will likely be in the same boat as Butler. If Bryant McFadden aggravates his abdomen injury during pre-game warmups he will surely dress, but right now I guess he sits. Stranger things have happened though and one of these two last spots could just as easy go to Jason Worilds if the Steelers choose to dress an extra corner. I think at least one of these last two go to Butler or Lewis nonetheless.