Not much to predict this week as far as inactives go against the Jacksonville Jaguars with 7 Steelers players listed as out on the Friday injury report. Let\’s have a look at the injured players, how long each may remain sidelined and who benefits by them being down. Here are your 7 inactives for Sunday.
DE Aaron Smith – Smith suffered a mid foot sprain against the Texans back in week 4 and this will make the second straight game he has missed. The Steelers did not miss him last week as Ziggy Hood played well back on the left side as Brett Keisel returned last week to take back over his right side duties. Do not expect the Steelers to rush back Smith and when he returns, he likely will be behind Hood on the depth chart.
G Chris Kemoeatu – Kemoeatu will miss his second straight game and his 3rd of the season with gout in the knee. Like Smith, Kemoeatu will not be rushed back and he could very well be sidelined until the Steelers face the Patriots in week 8. Should Doug Legursky play well the next two games at left guard, Kemoeatu might be relegated to back-up duty.
NT Casey Hampton – All we know about Hampton is that it is a shoulder injury. Mike Tomlin has not detailed the severity of it, but this makes the second straight game that Hampton has missed as well. His target return date could very well be the game against the Patriots, much like Smith and Kemoeatu I listed above. Chris Hoke and Steve McLendon will continue to cover for him in the mean time.
LB James Harrison – Harrison is yet another Steelers starter to miss his second straight game after suffering a fractured orbital bone in his right eye against the Texans. Harrison is back lifting weights and Tomlin said this past Tuesday that it would not surprise him if he returned sooner than expected. Hopefully it will be 2 weeks from now against the Patriots. The good news is it gives Harrison a few more weeks to get that back of his even stronger. Lawrence Timmons will start again at right outside linebacker with Harrison down again.
RB Mewelde Moore – You can add Moore to the list of two week walking wounded as he attempts to overcome his high ankle sprain. Jonathan Dwyer will get a helmet once again and played very well spelling Isaac Redman last week. Dwyer should likely only see special teams work this week unless the Steelers get up big. Tomlin might take it slow with Moore as well and it would not surprise me to see him held out against the Cardinals next week.
LB Jason Worilds – Worilds gave his injured quad a good test on Friday, but it evidently was not good enough to warrant risking him this week. Chris Carter will dress again and could get a few more snaps this week against the Jaguars if the Steelers are able to take care of business early in the game. Worilds really has missed a golden opportunity with his injury and his development continues to be a concern for the former second round pick.
T Marcus Gilbert – Gilbert re-injured his shoulder last week against the Titans and will sit out this week. Jonathan Scott will start at right tackle, while Trai Essex and Jamon Meredith will dress as the 6th and 7th linemen in his absence. A good game by Scott on the right side might give the Steelers a luxury of resting the rookie again next week against the Cardinals. We shall see.