Defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who has played in every game this season, is questionable with a back injury that seems to have developed suddenly overnight. He is listed as questionable, so there’s a chance he’ll still see some action, but Rex Ryan used the word “concerned” twice when discussing it. That’s not a very promising sign. If he does miss the game, look for frequent healthy scratch Jerel Worthy to be active, and look for some more playing time from recent roster addition Deandre Coleman as well.
Special teams mainstay Lerentee McCray (concussion) is the only player who has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. His loss does limit the depth at the outside linebacker position, and he appeared in a team-high 23 special teams play in the loss to the Raiders last week. That said, his loss can be made up by any number of reserve defenders. It’s also possible that the team could use its open roster spot to bring practice squad linebacker Bryson Albright back to the team. He made the initial 53-man roster out of training camp, but was sent back to the practice squad after the season-opening loss to the Ravens.
Wide receiver Robert Woods, who has missed the last two games after suffering an ugly-looking knee injury against the Bengals in Week 11, is listed as questionable but should be good to go this week. The same goes for his counterpart, Sammy Watkins, who didn’t practice on Wednesday as part of a plan to rest his foot. If both receivers play, then Tyrod Taylor will have both of his top two receivers on the field for the first time since the Week 2 loss to the Jets. As Chris Trapasso pointed out earlier this week, that’s a big deal.
Speaking of Taylor, he’s one of three players on the report who weren’t given designations for the game on Sunday. He’s been listed with a groin injury at several points this year, but has always been a full participant and hasn’t seemed limited by the injury. Linebacker Brandon Spikes dealt with an undefined illness and missed practice today, while cornerback Ronald Darby was limited on Wednesday after leaving the concussion protocol. All three will play on Sunday (or, in Spikes’ case, will be a healthy scratch if they don’t).
Finally, injury report mainstays Charles Clay (knee) and Cordy Glenn (back) are both listed as questionable. Clay missed the loss to the Raiders, but it was to stay in Buffalo to witness the birth of his son. It’s possible that Nick O’Leary could maintain a prominent role in the offense regardless of Clay’s presence, but both players will likely play against Pittsburgh.