Williams, Heyward-Bey, Burnett among inactives for Steelers
A new face will start in the middle of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense when they play the Atlanta Falcons at 1 p.m.
With Vince Williams sitting out because of a hamstring injury, Tyler Matakevich could make his first NFL start at inside linebacker. L.J. Fort, who finished the game after Williams’ fourth-quarter injury last week, is another option at the position.
Also inactive for the Steelers are strong safety Morgan Burnett (groin) and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle). They were listed as questionable on the Friday status report. Burnett has missed the past three games.
The healthy inactive players are quarterback Mason Rudolph, offensive lineman Zach Banner, safety Marcus Allen and defensive lineman L.T. Walton.
The absence for Williams ended a streak of 83 consecutive games played, the fourth longest streak among active linebackers.
With Heyward-Bey sitting, Justin Hunter is on the 53-man roster for the first time since the season opener. Cornerback Brian Allen, who was promoted from the practice squad earlier in the week when Nat Berhe was placed on injured reserve, also is active.