Last week there was no real guessing who the inactives would be with 7 players ruled out on the injury report. Against the Arizona Cardinals this week there is only a tad bit of guessing that needs to be done with 3 players ruled out on the Friday injury report and 1 being doubtful. Let\’s have a look at the injured players and predict the other inactives this week. The official inactive list are released 90 minutes before kick-off and I will have them up on the site as soon as they are announced.
G Doug Legursky – Legursky suffered a dislocated toe last week early on against the Jaguars and will miss several weeks because of it. The Steelers get back Chris Kemoeatu this week at left guard and Trai Essex will be the back-up center to Maurkice Pouncey. With Kemoeatu back and Legursky down, this will make the 7th different starting offensive line combination that the Steelers have fielded in as many weeks.
OLB James Harrison – Harrison will miss his 3rd straight game after fracturing the orbital bone in his right eye against the Texans back in week 4. Harrison had surgery two weeks ago this past Wednesday and said earlier this week he hopes to return soon. While the game next week against the Patriots may be pushing it, hopefully he can return the following week against the Ravens. We shall see.
NT Casey Hampton – Hampton also will miss his 3rd straight game this week with a shoulder injury and Mike Tomlin still has not revealed the severity of the injury or an overall timetable of his expected return. With Chris Hoke also likely down this week, the Steelers will turn to Steve McLendon at nose tackle as he makes his first career start on Sunday.
NT Chris Hoke – Hoke suffered a stinger in his neck last week against the Jaguars and was listed on the Friday injury report as doubtful after failing to practice all week. The Steelers opted to promote undrafted free agent defensive lineman Corbin Bryant from the practice squad and placed veteran defensive end Aaron Smith on injured reserve today. It does not look good for Hoke to dress this week, so Bryant will likely get his first helmet of his young career.
OL Jamon Meredith – Had Smith not been placed on injured reserve to make room for Bryant, Meredith would have been the likeliest candidate to be released. He wasn\’t, but he still will likely be inactive Sunday with Marcus Gilbert back healthy.
RB Jonathan Dwyer – With Mewelde Moore returning from his high ankle sprain, Dwyer could likely go back to being a regular on the weekly inactive list. This should not be written in stone however as Dwyer has contributed on special teams the last few weeks and the Steelers might choose to sit down Bryant McFadden or Jerricho Cotchery instead. The Steelers normally like to just dress three running backs though so Dwyer is my choice.
QB Dennis Dixon – With enough bodies back healthy, Dixon likely goes back to the inactive list now.