After the way things played out in practice this week it comes as no surprise who four of the Steelers inactives are for today’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Running backs James Conner and Benny Snell, fullback Roosevelt Nix and guard Ramon Foster are all on the inactive list, missing practice this week because of injuries and officially ruled out on Friday.
The absence of Conner and Snell, and Nix as a blocker, leaves a hole for the ground game, but there is confidence that others will pick up the slack.
Jaylen Samuels, Trey Edmunds and Tony Brooks-Jones will handle the duties for the ground game, and there is plenty of confidence that the ‘next man up’ will do their job.
“It is what it is,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “We’ll have a running back on the field, and we’ll expect those guys to deliver for us. We have been challenged in that way this year. At every turn it seems like guys have had an opportunity to stand and deliver. Edmunds had an opportunity to be a major contributor last week. We’ll see what this week holds. We don’t fear it. We understand the position we are in. But we fully expect whoever is to do it, to do a credible job.”
Samuels battled an injury of his own recently, having his knee scoped, but has been back and is feeling strong.
“It seems like it’s a different injury every week,” said Samuels. “We have to put in a different plan every week. As long as we get out there and execute, everybody does their job, we will be all right.
“We have to execute. Guys have to put the ball where it needs to be running back wise. We have to block up front. We have to make catches, make throws and execute. It will come together.”
With Foster out, Matt Feiler is expected to move from right tackle to left guard, while Chuks Okorafor could be called into action at tackle.
“He is a veteran guy,” said Feiler of missing Foster’s leadership on the field. “He is one of the guys we look up to for advice and stuff like that. I know he is going to be on the sidelines helping us out whatever way he can.”
For the Rams, wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been ruled out with a concussion. Cooks visited a specialist in Pittsburgh last week while the team had a bye and is was in Pittsburgh again earlier this week for a follow-up.
Also inactive for the Steelers today are quarterback Paxton Lynch, tight end Zach Gentry and defensive end L.T. Walton.
The full list of inactives is below.
No. 5 QB Paxton Lynch
No. 24 RB Benny Snell Jr.
No. 30 RB James Conner
No. 45 FB Roosevelt Nix
No. 73 OL Ramon Foster
No. 81 TE Zach Gentry
No. 95 DE L.T. Walton
No. 12 WR Brandin Cooks
No. 39 DB Jake Gervase
No. 42 RB John Kelly
No. 54 LB Bryce Hager
No. 64 OG Jamil Demby
No. 71 OT Bobby Evans
No. 92 DT Tanzel Smart