Predicting the Steelers Week 6 inactive list vs. the Chargers – Behind the Steel Curtain

The Steelers are really in need of the bye week. With six players ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, an extra week to get some players healthy will be a welcomed sight. But more importantly, the Steelers need a win as they are currently sitting at 1-4. Mason Rudolph is out with a concussion, so Devlin Hodges will make his first NFL start on Sunday. With many other players already ruled out, there is only one spot on Sunday for a healthy scratch. With Paxton Lynch and Trey Edmunds being added to the roster on Friday, there will be at least three players making their 2019 regular-season debut as either Isaiah Buggs or Chuks Okorafor will be guaranteed a helmet on Sunday.


Game Status

Out:
FB Roosevelt Nix (knee)
QB Mason Rudolph (concussion)
ILB Mark Barron (hamstring)
RB Jaylen Samuels (knee)
WR James Washington (shoulder)
CB Steven Nelson (groin)


Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for Week 6:

Definitely:

FB Roosevelt Nix– the hope was Rosie would make it back before the bye week. It’s looking as if the Injured Reserve may have been a better option as Nix will be out at least six weeks anyway.

QB Mason Rudolph– last Sunday nobody expected Mason to play this week. His participation during practice gave some hope, but the extra time to go through the NFL concussion protocol is probably better in the long run.

ILB Mark Barron– thank goodness Vince Williams made it back just in time for Barron to take his turn on the injury list with the same injury.

RB Jaylen Samuels– he was ruled out for “about a month” according to head coach Mike Tomlin after getting his knee scoped.

WR James Washington– injuring his shoulder three plays after Rudolph went out, Washington may miss several weeks.

CB Steven Nelson– he practiced in a limited fashion every day this week but was downgraded from questionable to out on Saturday. It was reported Artie Burns was expecting to start, so while the news is disappointing it’s not all that surprising.

Most Likely:

DT Isaiah Buggs or OT Chukwuma Okorafor– neither of them has got a helmet this year. Now one of them is guaranteed to dress as there is no reason to hold them both out. The only question remains is which one.

Possibly:

None. This was the spot Steven Nelson would have occupied until he was downgraded Saturday.

Unlikely:

TE Zach Gentry– although they only went with two tight ends last week, with so many injured players out Gentry should be available out of default.

WR Donte Moncrief– he may very well get a chance to log significant snaps this week with James Washington out with a shoulder injury. It may be do or die time when it comes to Moncrief’s tenure with the Steelers.


Projected Inactive List:

  1. Roosevelt Nix
  2. Mason Rudolph
  3. Mark Barron
  4. Jaylen Samuels
  5. James Washington
  6. Steven Nelson
  7. Chuks Okorafor

It’s a question of two players for one spot. And with neither of them dressing all year, it’s extremely difficult to predict which one the Steelers would carry on game day. I’m going with Isaiah Buggs getting a helmet because he plays a position where the Steelers can rotate people in and out. So while he might not see the field, he could get a few snaps as part of a rotation. As for Chuks, there would need to be three injuries along the offensive line before he would possibly get on the field. This is a complete guess, but I had to go with something.

As always, feel free to list your projected inactives (even if it’s just one spot) in the comments below.

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