The Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Denver Broncos today in Denver as they look to advance to the Divisional Round and face the New England Patriots next Saturday. The Friday injury report, as expected, had two players ruled out and another questionable. As I do every week, here is the prediction of the 7 game inactives for Sunday afternoon and a few notes on each of the players. The official inactive list of players will be announced 90 minutes before kickoff and I will have them posted on the site as soon as they are announced.
C Maurkice Pouncey – The Steelers 2011 Pro Bowl and All-Pro center will most likely sit this game out after he aggravated his injured left ankle Wednesday in practice. Pouncey did not work on Thursday or Friday and although listed as questionable, reports say he will not play. Pouncey sat out week 15 and 16 so there is some concern that he could miss more time in the playoff should the Steelers advance against the Broncos. Doug Legursky will start at center with Pouncey down.
CB Cortez Allen – The rookie cornerback suffered a right shoulder injury last week against the Cleveland Browns while attempting to make a tackle on a punt return. Word is that he suffered a separated shoulder and he did not practice at all this week and was subsequently ruled out on Friday. The Steelers will miss him on special teams, but will certainly need him as a dime back against the Patriots should they advance to the Divisional Round.
RB Mewelde Moore – Moore has still not recovered from his sprained knee suffered a few weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers. This will be the third straight game Moore will miss and the hope is that he will be able to return next week should the Steelers advance. Like Allen, he was ruled out on the Friday injury report.
FS Ryan Clark – Clark is not injured but his history in Denver as it relates to his sickle cell trait forced head coach Mike Tomlin to not take any chances with Clark having any issues. This will be the first game that Clark has missed since the Steelers last traveled to Denver in 2009.
QB Dennis Dixon – With the Steelers likely needing the extra body this week on special teams they likely will dress just two quarterbacks and that means it is back to being inactive for Dixon. Should they decide to dress three instead, Arnaz Battle would likely be inactive instead. It should be one or another.
T Jamon Meredith – Another week on the inactive list for Meredith.
DE Al Woods – Woods has yet to be active with the Steelers since claimed off waivers.