It all comes down to this. The Pittsburgh Steelers desperately need a win in Week 18 against the Baltimore Ravens to give them a solid chance at entering the playoffs. This is the first of all Week 18 games that will be played, and we won't know if Mike Tomlin's team will cash their ticket to the postseason until the results of Sunday's games unfold.
The Steelers are lacing up to take on their biggest AFC North rival in Baltimore. Fortunately, Pittsburgh has been handed a late Christmas gift. The Ravens are planning on resting many of their best starters in an effort to stay healthy for the playoffs and a potential Super Bowl run. This includes star quarterback, Lamar Jackson.
Meanwhile, the Steelers are finally trending in the right direction when it comes to the health of their squad. Though they began the week with 10 players on the Week 18 injury report, things are looking positive just ahead of kickoff. Here is the Steelers' inactives list for today's game against the Ravens.
Steelers inactives vs. Ravens in Week 18:
- No. 10 Mitch Trubisky (QB3)
- No. 17 S Trenton Thompson
- No. 21 CB Darius Rush
- No. 39 S Minkah Fitzpatrick
- No. 40 LB Blake Martinez
- No. 60 T Dylan Cook
- No. 98 DE DeMarvin Leal
It was a week of controversy surrounding quarterback Kenny Pickett after being medically cleared and not dressing for the Week 17 contest in Seattle. Regardless of what transpired, Pickett will be the backup to Mason Rudolph this week, which means that Mitch Trubisky will be the emergency QB3. He can only see the field if injuries occur to both Rudolph and Pickett.
Joining Trubisky with a clipboard on the sidelines will be CB Darius Rush, S Trenton Thompson, S Minkah Fitzpatrick, LB Blake Martinez, OT Dylan Cook, and DE DeMarvin Leal. There was hope that Fitzpatrick could suit up for this contest after logging limited practices this week, but he remains out. Elandon Roberts, however, should be back in the lineup at linebacker today.
The Ravens will be without a plethora of players this week -- essentially anyone that was previously dinged up plus their most important starters. The most notable names on Baltimore's roster sitting this one out include QB Lamar Jackson, WR Zay Flowers, WR Odell Beckham Jr., S Kyle Hamilton, CB Marlon Humphrey, and OG Kevin Zeitler.
The Steelers clearly hold a competitive advantage today with so many Ravens players sitting out. Stay tuned to see if Pittsburgh can take care of business in Baltimore for this Saturday evening contest in Week 18.