Late Sunday morning the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the names of the five players who are inactive against Jacksonville. At the top of the list are running backs Jaylen Samuels (quadriceps) and Trey Edmunds (hamstring), both of whom were ruled ‘out’ on Friday. Also inactive is linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who missed all three practices this week and remains out with an unspecified illness.
The other two Steelers inactives are third-string quarterback Josh Dobbs and defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs, the latter of whom is nursing an ankle injury.
The good news is that slot cornerback Mike Hilton is expected to return on Sunday after missing the past four games with a shoulder injury. Also expected back is rookie running back Anthony McFarland Jr., who has been out with an illness.
Jacksonville’s Quarterback Situation
The Jacksonville Jaguars have seven players inactive against the Steelers, headlined by starting quarterback Gardner Minshew, who has a thumb injury. Earlier in the week, Jags head coach Doug Marrone announced that rookie QB Jake Luton would be his team’s starting quarterback, leaving longtime veteran Mike Glennon as the backup.
Luton is a sixth-round pick out of Oregon State who already has two NFL starts to his credit. He made his debut against the Houston Texans on November 8th and completed 26 of 38 passes for 304 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His second start came against the Green Bay Packers on November 15th, which went less well, as he completed just 18 of 35 passes for 169 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Jacksonville’s Other Inactives
The second most notable player on Jacksonville’s inactive list is starting cornerback Sidney Jones IV, who has an Achilles injury. With Jones absent, the Jags will be without both starting cornerbacks, as rookie first-round pick CJ Henderson was placed on injured reserve this week. That means third-year veteran Tre Herndon and diminutive rookie Chris Claybrooks (5-foot-9, 179 pounds) are likely to start at CB for the Jags. Claybrooks was drafted in the seventh-round of the 2020 draft out of Memphis, in large part because of his ability to return kicks.
Meanwhile, three-year vet DJ Hayden is expected to serve as the nickel cornerback. Hayden is coming off an injury of his own; he has missed Jacksonville’s last five games with a hamstring issue. Originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Vanderbilt, Hayden has played in 27 career games (14 starts), with 67 career tackles, 13 passes defensed and three interceptions.
Also inactive on Sunday is rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., who was selected in the second round (No. 42) overall out of Colorado. He has had a productive start to his first season in the NFL, with 30 receptions for 323 yards and a touchdown.
The other four inactives are:
LB Quincy Williams
OL KC McDermott
TE James O’Shaughnessy
TE Tyler Davis
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