Coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Sunday morning what was suspected earlier in the week: the Steelers will play the Cleveland Browns in the regular-season finale without many of their top players, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger was among seven players on the inactive list, joining running back Le’Veon Bell, center Maurkice Pouncey, guard David DeCastro, defensive end Cam Heyward, cornerback Coty Sensabaugh and wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Roethlisberger had missed two practices and was limited in another during the week. Pouncey and Bell missed practice during the week.
Landry Jones will make his first start of the season at quarterback. Stevan Ridley will replace Bell as the starting running back and share carries with Fitzgerald Toussaint. B.J. Finney is expected to replace Pouncey at center, and Matt Feiler or Chris Hubbard will sub for DeCastro.
DeCastro had started the past 70 games and had missed just two snaps since Week 10 in the 2013 season.
Veteran Tyson Alualu is expected to start in place of Heyward, who leads the Steelers with 12 sacks.
Brown, already ruled out with a lower leg contusion, will miss his second consecutive game.