The Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers are at the crossroads of their season, with the Bengals at 5-5 and Steelers at 6-4. Both of these teams are dealing with some major injuries, but that is no excuse at this point in the season.
Here are the inactives for this Week 12 AFC North matchup:
- WR Tee Higgins
- HB Chris Evans
- CB Cam Taylor-Britt
- C Trey Hill
- OT D’Ante Smith
- DT Jay Tufele
There are two big names here for Cincinnati. Higgins is set to miss his third straight game. It is a really unfortunate turn of events after the last time we saw him. He put up eight catches and over 100 yards in a huge win against the Buffalo Bills. It would be very helpful for him to be able to suit up soon to give quarterback Jake Browning as many weapons to succeed as possible. Hopefully, that is sooner than later.
This is also the first game of the season that Taylor-Britt will miss. He left Thursday Night Football right before the half with a shoulder injury. It is a pretty big blow, as he has recorded four interceptions in the last six games. DJ Turner and Chidobe Awuzie had been rotating at the opposite corner position, so the question becomes if Awuzie will continue to rotate or be forced to play the full game?
A couple of small notes as well: Rookie running back Chase Brown being activated to the roster after a stint on injured reserve has the team making Chris Evans a healthy scratch. Linebacker Germaine Pratt was questionable with an illness that had him miss practice Friday, but he will go. This is also the return of defensive end Sam Hubbard who had missed the previous two games.
- QB Mason Rudolph (third quarterback)
- RB Anthony McFarland Jr.
- S Minkah Fitzpatrick
- ILB Blake Martinez
- DT Montravius Adams
- T Dylan Cook
The big name here is Fitzpatrick being out. He is a fairly talented safety, and the defense can be susceptible against the pass if the offensive line can handle the defensive line. He has also been a pretty chippy player historically against Cincinnati, constantly getting involved in extracurriculars after the play.
Otherwise, just a reminder that teams with a third quarterback designated can not play that quarterback unless the first two go down with an injury in this game. They can not simply substitute for poor play.