The good news for the Pittsburgh Steelers is that T.J. Watt is looking as healthy as ever. The bad news is that this team is still without two of their most important players in Cameron Heyward and Diontae Johnson. Heyward went down with a groin tear in Week 1, while Johnson suffered a hamstring pull in the same game. Both players quickly landed on IR.
The Steelers can get Johnson back following the bye week, and Heyward could return shortly after. In the meantime, this team needs to weather the storm without them. Despite some rather sloppy play early in the 2023 NFL season, Pittsburgh should be thankful to have come away with a 2-1 record in their first three games.
Against the Raiders on Sunday Night Football this past week, it certainly looked like the offense was finally starting to catch its groove. Now they will need to continue that momentum against a Houston Texans team today that is coming off a 20-point road win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Unfortunately, the Steelers had a total of 11 names pop up on their injury report this week, and several players missed multiple days of practice ahead of today's game. We hope that these bumps and bruises won't have a big impact on today's game. Here is the Pittsburgh Steelers inactive list ahead of kickoff today.
Steelers inactives list vs. Texans in Week 4:
- No. 2 QB Mason Rudolph (3rd QB)
- No. 6 P Pressley Harvin III
- No. 48 RB Godwin Igwebuike
- No. 78 OG James Daniels
- No. 89 Gunner Olszewski
- No. 96 DT Breiden Fehoko
As usual, Mason Rudolph will be a healthy scratch from the game, but because of the new third-QB rule, Rudolph could take the field in an emergency situation if Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky were to both go down with injuries. (We obviously hope we never have to see this come into play).
The Steelers inactives list against the Texans today also includes RB Godwin Igwebuike, OG James Daniels, WR Gunner Olszewski, P Pressley Harvin III, and DT Breiden Fehoko. With the absence of Daniels today, Nate Herbig will get his first start in a Steelers uniform at right guard. Veteran punter, Brad Wing, was brought in for the injured Pressley Harvin.
Earlier in the week, players like Larry Ogunjobi, Chukwuma Okorafor, and Allen Robinson missed practice with injuries, but it looks like they should be clear to go this afternoon. Darnell Washington popped up on the Steelers injury report and missed Thursday's practice with a knee issue, but he will be good to go today.
The Houston Texans have their share of injuries as well. In addition to already having eight players land on the injured reserve list early in the season, they also had a total of 13 names on the injury report this week (though four of them were given a day of rest to open the week). The Texans have been decimated with injuries on the offensive line, which could be a big advantage for the Steelers talented pass rush.
The Steelers and Texans kick off at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This will be a battle for early seeding among two AFC teams. Pittsburgh will either advance to 3-1 or fall to 2-2 depending on today's results.