Steelers Inactives Include Rookie, Offensive Tackle

DeCastro-Roethlisberger

Andy Lyons/Getty Images Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers shakes hands with David DeCastro #66.

This morning the Pittsburgh Steelers released their list of inactive players for today’s game against the Houston Texans.

QB Josh Dobbs
LB Ulysees Gilbert III
TE Zach Gentry
OT Derwin Gray
DT Carlos Davis (rookie)

That means starting right guard David DeCastro is ready to go this week, a welcome development for head coach Mike Tomlin & Co.

“He has been practicing,” said offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, referring to DeCastro. “I know from a communication standpoint, his personality, how hard he has worked to put himself in position to get back, it would be awesome. Nothing against young (Kevin) Dotson last week. I thought he played well for his first opportunity to play. But you are talking about an All-Pro type player. So, yes, I have a smile on my face.”

As for this week’s starting offensive line, the expectation is that the following five players will start:

LT Alejandro Villanueva
LG Matt Feiler
C Maurkice Pouncey
RG David DeCastro
RT Chuks Okorafor

The Steelers go into the game with only two active quarterbacks, starter Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph.


Houston Texans Inactives

As for the six inactive players for the Houston Texans, the list is headlined by running back Duke Johnson.

The other five inactives are:
CB Cornell Armstrong
OLB Jonathan Greenard
LB Peter Kalambayi
OT Charlie Heck
DT Ross Blacklock


Ben Roethlisberger Sets New Franchise Record

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will set a new franchise record today by playing in his 221st career game. That breaks the tie with Hall of Fame center Mike Webster, who played 220 games for the team before finishing his career with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I attribute it to Jesus and just really being blessed,” said Roethlisberger last week. “I am so thankful to be in the black and gold 17 years later. Almost half my life, I’ve been here giving Steelers fans everything I have. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I wouldn’t want to do it for any other team or any other fans.

“I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of great football players and talent and teammates. I did take a lot of beating early on. A lot of that was my fault. God made me a bigger man than most quarterbacks, so I think I can take it and I’m just enjoying playing this game.”

So far this season Roethlisberger has completed 50 of 73 passes for 540 yards with five touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 107.1. That makes him 11th in the NFL in passer rating and 13th in passing yards.


Around the AFC North

This weekend the winless Cincinnati Bengals visit the Philadelphia Eagles while Washington plays at the Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati has several notable inactives today, including DT Geno Atkins and WR John Ross. The Browns will be without CB Greedy Williams and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, among others.

On Monday night the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs travel to Baltimore to go against the undefeated Ravens.

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