The Pittsburgh Steelers cut their roster to 53 on Saturday. Here's a look at the roster with starters in bold:
The Steelers like the future of Rudolph and Dobbs over Landry Jones, who was cut Saturday. They are counting on a slimmer and healthier Roethlisberger avoiding injury, but if needed, Rudolph will likely serve as the No. 2 quarterback. Dobbs played his way onto the roster with his work in preseason games.
The top-two spots are cemented, leaving Samuels, a fifth-round pick, competing with veteran Stevan Ridley for the third spot. Ridley ran hard all preseason and serves as insurance in case Bell starts slow or isn't available. The Steelers like Samuels' ability as a pass-catcher and he's coming along as a runner. The Steelers get an exemption for Bell, who's on the franchise tag, until Friday.
Fullback (1): Roosevelt Nix
Nix just signed a four-year extension, making him one of the game's highest-paid fullbacks. He'll continue to serve as Bell's lead blocker in run-heavy packages.
The Steelers look smart in shipping the again-suspended Martavis Bryant to Oakland back in April. Heyward-Bey serves as a special teams ace who can handle first-team reps when needed and mentor young receivers. Switzer, acquired in a trade with Oakland, can spark the return game and possibly help in the slot until Eli Rogers (PUP) returns.
This lineup has been set for months, but James is the only healthy tight end of the three. Bucky Hodges is a natural pass-catcher who might be the next call-up if injuries to McDonald and Grimble persist.
Banner serves as the team's ninth linemen and a swing tackle behind Okorafor. Finney and Feiler are primary interior backups. They could always pluck a lineman off waivers, too.
This lineup has been set for weeks, with McCullers serving as the second nose tackle for now. Walton can play nose or end. Seventh-round rookie Joshua Frazier is an intriguing option, but the Steelers can develop him on the practice squad and take advantage of Walton's experience.
Ola Adeniyi has had a strong preseason, including a sack in the preseason finale. Special teams play broke the tie between him and Keion Adams. Thomas is a promising prospect the Steelers can use at inside linebacker or pass-rusher. He got some first-team run last week and acquitted himself well.
This group includes three new players, including rookies Edmunds and Allen, who had bright moments in the preseason finale. The Steelers opted for Sensabaugh's veteran presence over second-year corner Brian Allen, who struggled at times in the preseason. Veteran Nat Berhe could return in the next few days. Safety Jordan Dangerfield has had a nice camp and has played his way on to the team for now.
Berry's preseason wasn't ideal, but he's still the best option at punter. Boswell, Mr. 90 percent, is now one of the league's highest-paid kickers after signing a new deal in August.