The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and on the road to kick off their 2022 regular season and if you’re like me, you’re counting down the hours until the game begins. As usual, I will attempt to project the Steelers inactives for every game of the 2022 season and below is my best guess as to which players won’t be given helmets on Sunday against the Bengals.
Game inactives are officially announced 90 minutes before kickoff, so make sure you check back at that time to see the names of the players for both teams who will be sitting the game out. Also, the new roster rules make this exercise even harder as team’s can elevate up to two players from their practice squads to their active roster for gamedays. Team’s also can dress up to 48 players for games if eight offensive linemen are dressed.
QB Mason Rudolph – Rudolph is starting the 2022 season as the Steelers third string quarterback behind Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. Head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that the team won’t be dressing a third quarterback on Sunday against the Bengals and that statement certainly wasn’t a surprise. The last time that Rudolph was a gameday inactive was in week 6 of the 2019 season and that was due to him being injured with a concussion. As long as Rudolph stays on the roster this season and assuming both Trubisky and Pickett remain healthy, he’s likely to be on the inactive list quite a bit throughout the 2022 slate.
G Kendrick Green – After being the team’s starting center for most of his rookie season, Green has since been moved to left guard. He lost the starting spot to Kevin Dotson during the preseason and since then the team has added versatile offensive lineman Jesse Davis via a cutdown day trade. Green is a one-trick pony as he begins his second NFL season and with only eight offensive linemen expected to dress on Sunday against the Bengals, odds are good he’ll be the lone one not to dress. Should that be the case, Davis would likely serve as the Steelers’ swing guard against the Bengals.
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk – The Steelers usually only dress five offensive linemen for games in situations where 53-man rosters are used. They currently have seven defensive linemen on their 53-man roster, so odds are probably good that two of those players sit out as healthy scratches. Loudermilk was dealing with a rib injury during the preseason and that limited his snap totals. I think he might be one of the two defensive linemen that will be inactive against the Bengals.
DE DeMarvin Leal – Once again, if the Steelers only dress five total defensive linemen on Sunday, two of the seven will be made inactive. Leal is just a rookie so he might be asked to sit and watch the first several weeks of the season as he continues to learn the defense. I have him and Loudermilk as both being inactive.
WR Steven Sims – The Steelers will likely look to dress just five wide receivers on Sunday against the Bengals. If that’s the case, Sims would likely be the odd man out as his special teams value is only as a returner, a job that fellow wide receiver Gunner Olszewski owns. If Sims is made inactive, that should give rookie inside linebacker Mark Robinson a chance to dress against the Bengals and help on special teams.