The Steelers have nose defensive tackle Carlos Davis out and three players out for Sunday’s Week 2 game against the Las Vegas Raiders, despite entering the week largely healthy.
Davis was limited in practice on Wednesday and did not practice on Thursday or Friday and will miss Sunday’s game.
Chris Wormley and Isaiah Buggs, who both also play end, can be used as backups to starting nose tackle Tyson Alualu with Davis out, and also as rotational players along the defensive line in the Nickel and Dime alignments. Davis played 17 snaps of defense in Week 1 against Buffalo. Rookie fifth-round pick Isaiahh Loudermilk should be expected to be active for the first time against Oakland.
Cornerback Joe Haden (groin), inside linebacker Devin Bush (groin) and tight end Zach Gentry (ankle) were all limited participants in practice on Friday and are officially questionable to play against the Raiders. It’s not clear when any of the players were injured.
Second-year corner Justin Pierre would be expected to be elevated into the starting lineup if Haden were unable to play, with Justin Layne ascending to Pierre’s Nickel/Dime role.
Robert Spillane, who was limited earlier in the week by a shin injury that caused him to be a late scratch at Buffalo, is the top backup inside linebacker and would likely start if Bush cannot. Spillane was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday.
Gentry, the team’s third tight, would likely be replaced by practice squad tight end Kevin Rader if he can’t play. Fellow tight end Eric Ebron, returned to practice in full on Friday after missing Thursday’s work with a hamstring injury.