CINCINNATI — The Steelers have ruled out six players against the Cincinnati Bengals for their key Sunday divisional clash. Pittsburgh already knew coming in that they would be without safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Montravius Adams. While Adams is out for the third straight game, Fitzpatrick is missing his fourth straight game. Adams practiced in a limited capacity all week, while Fitzpatrick has yet to touch the practice field in any capacity.
Trenton Thompson will get his second career start, while Keeanu Benton will continue to start at nose tackle. In other news, tackle Dylan Cook will remain inactive, which has been standard for every game when the team has nine fully healthy offensive linemen.
Running back Anthony McFarland is inactive in a surprise move. Godwin Igwebuike will be the team’s returner. James Pierre dealt with a shoulder injury but will play. Meanwhile, Darius Rush will also get a helmet, meaning he could play in some sub-packages.
Linebacker Blake Martinez is inactive, having just joined the team as a part of their inside linebacker corps. Tariq Carpenter came up from the practice squad and will provide special teams depth for the group, while Mykal Walker and Elandon Roberts will start. Mark Robinson will also continue to provide depth at the inside linebacker position.
Mason Rudolph remains the emergency third quarterback in the case that Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky were injured during the game. He has yet to play in a game this season, though Pickett has suffered several injuries during the Steelers’ games this year, including rib and knee injuries.
Pittsburgh is looking to keep up its strong momentum on defense while the offense improves after firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada. The Bengals will be missing wide receiver Tee Higgins and cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt as critical starters. A.J. McCarron will be the backup quarterback to Jake Browning after Joe Burrow’s wrist injury.