Predicting the Steelers inactive list for Week 8 vs. the Jaguars
The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading into the eighth week of the 2023 and have the first of three-straight home games ahead of them. Despite having six games under their belt, the inactive list continues to evolve due to various injuries.
The rules in the 2023 season when it comes to the players active on game day have been carried over from the last three seasons with one additional caveat. As long as a team has eight offensive linemen who will be dressing for the game, they could have 48 players on their active roster rather than the 46 in past years. If the Steelers elevate any players from their practice squad, their inactive list would increase by the same number of players. The one change this season is one quarterback on the inactive list can be designated as the “third quarterback” and will be in uniform, but they can only enter if the other two quarterbacks are injured. The player must be on the 53-man roster and will be designated when the inactive list is released 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
With the Steelers having until 4 PM on Saturday to make any roster moves or practice squad elevations, the exact number for the list is technically subject to change. While there may be a need to elevate a player from the practice squad, there a number of possible moves that could occur for Week 8. The Steelers only have 52 players on the roster, so whatever moves that are coming will determine the number of players who will be inactive.
CB Joey Porter Jr. (calf)
CB Levi Wallace (foot)
CB James Pierre (ankle)
Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for the Steelers against the Jaguars on Sunday:
None– Nobody has been ruled out unless the Steelers change a status on Saturday.
QB Mason Rudolph– Third quarterback… blah blah blah. Gets to dress anyways… blah blah blah.
OT Dylan Cook– All offensive linemen are healthy so Cook stays here.
DL Breiden Fehoko– With all the defensive linemen healthy outside of Cam Heyward who still isn’t back on the 53-man roster yet, Fehoko likely gets another full roster check while dressed in street clothes.
RB Godwin Igwebuike– This possibility is all about Anthony McFarland. If he comes back for this week, I’d move Igwebuike into the most likely category.
CB Darius Rush– He’s still only spent two weeks with the team. His potential to get a helmet is less about him and more about the other cornerbacks.
CB Joey Porter Jr.– Because he’s listed as questionable he lands here. Out of the three questionable corners, I know most Steelers fans are hoping he is able to play the most.
CB Levi Wallace– If Wallace was the only cornerback questionable I would assume he would miss the game. But with there being three of them, I’m just hoping two of them can go.
CB James Pierre– This one popped up on Friday with Pierre’s ankle, so his availability really is questionable.
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.– If the Steelers activate him, there would be no reason to then make him inactive.
Projected Inactive List:
- Mason Rudolph
- Dylan Cook
- Breiden Fehoko
- James Pierre
- Godwin Igwebuike*
- Darius Rush*
I have to admit this is one of the more difficult lists to predict. Between three players at one position being questionable and the Steelers only having 52 players on the roster, whatever they do on Saturday will go along way to shape how this could play out.
I have three names listed that I am confident in with Rudolph, Cook, and Fehoko. After that it gets dicey. I’m assuming not all three corners will be available so I went with Pierre not playing as he was the only one who didn’t practice at all on Friday. It’s not like I have a feeling that he will be out, I’m just taking a shot in the dark.
The next player I listed was Godwin Igwebuike and he’s only going to land on this list if the Steelers bring back Anthony McFarland on to the 53 man roster. If not, I think Igwebuike will get a helmet.
I also included Darius Rush as the sixth name which would all come down to if the Steelers elevate Luq Barcoo from the practice squad. If they do so, I believe it would be with the intent to give him a helmet and therefore it would come down to Rush or one of the injured cornerbacks. I’m really hopeful Joey Porter Jr. will play, so I’m going with Rush not playing if Barcoo is called up and others are healthy enough to play.
The bottom line is, after the top three players I believe it will be a cornerback. Exactly who is simply a guess. If there’s a practice squad elevation, I think that means there will be two cornerbacks on the list. Whether or not it’s two injured ones or the Steelers aren’t sure about Rush at this time will determine this. I also think if the Steelers fill out their 53-man roster away it would be with McFarland which would put Igwebuike on the list.
Now it all comes down to the moves on Saturday…
As always, feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.