The Pittsburgh Steelers take on the San Francisco 49ers tonight at Candlestick Park as they look to move to 11-3 on the season and move a step closer to locking up the #1 seed in the AFC. The inactives this week are pretty easy to decipher with three players already ruled out on the Saturday injury report and one suspended for the week. There really is just one spot I think we have to make an educated guess on. As I do every week, here is the prediction of the 7 game inactives for tonight and a few notes on each of the players. The official list will be announced 90 minutes before kickoff.
S Damon Cromartie-Smith – The Steelers figure to get back special teams captain Arnaz Battle Monday night as he looks to be recovered from his hamstring injury and that could mean that Cromartie-Smith will be inactive. There is an outside chance that rookie Curtis Brown could be down instead with his knee injury as he was limited this week and listed as questionable. If that should be the case, Cromartie-Smith would get a helmet in his place. This is the only real question on the inactives this week in my opinion.
C Maurkice Pouncey – Pouncey injured his left ankle against the Cleveland Browns and the Grade 1 sprain will need a little bit longer to heal. This injury was to the same ankle that kept him out of the Super Bowl last February, so the Steelers will be super cautious with him. He is already out of his walking boot, so that is a great sign. Doug Legursky will start at center with Pouncey down.
WR Emmanuel Sanders – Sanders is still trying to get that right foot of his to heal properly and it could mean he stays out a few more weeks. The foot has developed more inflammation after having surgery on it during the offseason according to reports, so it is a concern.
LB Chris Carter – Carter has battled his hamstring all season and it will cost him yet another game. He re-injured it in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs and is no where close to returning according to reports, and did not practice at all this past week.
T Jamon Meredith – Another week inactive for Meredith as the Steelers will dress just seven linemen this week. Meredith has dressed for just 4 games earlier this season, but has yet to take an offensive snap.
DE Al Woods – Woods has yet to dress on game-days since being claimed off waivers and that does not figure to change this week.
OLB James Harrison – Harrison could not travel with the team as he is serving his one-game suspension handed down to him this past week. The Steelers have not placed him on the suspended list, so they likely will need to put him on the inactive list tonight. Harrison can return to the team on Tuesday.