Steelers nose tackle Carlos Davis, wide receiver Deontae Johnson and outside linebacker Alex Highsmith will all miss the teams week three game against the Cincinnati Bengals with injuries, while outside linebacker T.J. Watt is questionable, the team announced on Friday.
Davis will miss his second consecutive game with A knee injury and did not practice all this week. His absence, combined with starting nose tackle Tyson Alualu being placed on injured reserve on Monday, means the Steelers are down to their third option at nose tackle in third-year man Isaiah Buggs. Buggs will fill in for Alualu when the Steelers play base and also back up Can Heyward and Chris Wormley in Nickel and Dime.
Johnson also did not practice all this week after injuring his knee in the final play of the Steelers’ loss to the Raiders. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by James Washington, with Ray-Ray McCloud likely seeing an elevated role, as well. Cody White is a possibility to be activated from the practice squad at wide receiver.
Highsmith was able to play through injury in Week 2, but also did not practice at all this week. He’ll be replaced by veteran Melvin Ingram at right outside linebacker.
Watt, who missed the second half of last Sunday’s game with a groin injury, is questionable to start on the other side. He was limited in practice all week but told reporters on Friday afternoon that “the door is open” for him to play on Sunday.
Jamir Jones will start in place of Watt if he is unable to play. Derek Tuszka and Taco Charlton seem to be the most likely options for a practice squad come up this week as a team deals with a lack of depth at outside linebacker.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was a full participant in Friday’s practice and will play against the Bengals. He had been limited earlier in the week with a left pectoral injury.
Cornerback Joe Haden and inside linebacker Devin Bush, Jr. are both expected to return to the lineup after missing Week 2 with groin injuries. They were both full participants on Friday, as well.
Cornerback Justin Layne and inside linebacker Marcus Allen, who both were limited at times during the week, are also good for Sunday.