Here we go with week 1 of the 2011 season as the Steelers take on the Baltimore Ravens Sunday at Baltimore. The final injury report has been released for the week and we will take a stab at the possible 7 players who will be inactive and will not dress on Sunday. This season teams may dress 46 players instead of 45 like they have done in the past as there is no emergency quarterback rule now. You either dress a 3rd QB or you don\’t. Here we go with this week\’s projected inactives and why. Remember that the official list of inactives are not turned in until 90 minutes before kick-off.
QB Dennis Dixon – It is looking like Mike Tomlin will gamble and only dress two quarterbacks this week. Hines Ward has been taking snaps late in practices and will likely serve as the emergency quarterback if both Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch were to go out injured. Tomlin will likely want to dress an extra defensive lineman in Steve McLendon instead of Dixon.
WR Jerricho Cotchery – Cotchery has been slowed by a hamstring injury since his first preseason game against the Eagles and he is listed as doubtful on the injury report on Friday. The Steelers will have Arnaz Battle dressed as a special teams ace and extra receiver should they need him. There is no reason to rush Cotchery back right now, so he might be inactive for a week or two to start the season.
LB Chris Carter – Carter, the Steelers fifth round pick, also has a hamstring injury and is listed as out for this week against the Ravens. Carter was likely to be inactive even if healthy and he likely will be on the inactive list for several weeks unless the Steelers need him on special teams, because of poor play or injuries.
RB Jonathan Dwyer – Dwyer spent all but week 17 on the inactive list last year and it likely will be his permanent home this year unless an injury to Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman or Mewelde Moore happens. Dwyer had a much better second training camp and preseason, but it was still not enough to get a helmet because of the numbers.
G/T Chris Scott – Scott made the roster when Tony Hills was let go, but he looked pretty bad at both right guard and right tackle during the preseason. The Steelers normally like to dress just 7 offensive linemen on gamedays so Scott will likely be inactive for several weeks unless the injury bug bites.
G/T Ramon Foster – Foster was the starting right guard in the Super Bowl against the Packers, but could not win the spot this year as Doug Legursky gets the nod instead with Trai Essex backing up the spot. It also appears that rookie Marcus Gilbert will be the 3rd tackle against the Ravens and will join Essex as the extra two linemen dressed. This means Foster will likely be inactive unless Tomlin decides to dress 8 instead.
CB Cortez Allen – The Last inactive spot will likely go to Allen as the Steelers will likely dress just 5 cornerbacks. Allen will likely fight all season to get off of the inactive list and he will have to do that on special teams unless an injury happens. Fellow rookie corner Curtis Brown looks to be a much better special teams player early on so Allen might not dress for several weeks.