Derwin Gray

Steelers Place OL Stefen Wisniewski On IR

Entering Week 2, the Steelers remain shorthanded at guard. All-Pro David DeCastro will miss a second straight game, and Stefen Wisniewski looks likely to be out much longer.

The Steelers placed Wisniewski on IR Friday. He will not be able to return to action until at least Week 5. The 10th-year veteran interior lineman is sidelined with a pectoral injury. Wisniewski is expected to return at some point this season, with NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero noting the injury is not expected to require surgery (Twitter link).

Wisniewski signed with the Steelers earlier this offseason, doing so after working as a Chiefs starter in their three playoff games. The two-time Super Bowl starter was set to replace retired left guard Ramon Foster and started in Week 1. But the Steelers have been forced to make other plans at the position to start the Season. Fourth-round rookie Kevin Dotson is expected to replace him at guard against the Broncos, Mike Tomlin said.

Pittsburgh already lost right tackle Zach Banner, so the team will be down to just two O-line starters — center Maurkice Pouncey and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva — on Sunday. DeCastro is battling a knee injury.

The Steelers will also promote tackle Derwin Gray, a 2019 seventh-round pick, from the practice squad, the team announced.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Sign Devlin Hodges To P-Squad

Devlin Hodges wasn’t gone for long. After waiving the quarterback over the weekend, the Steelers inked him to a practice squad deal on Monday, per a club announcement. With Duck under contract, and running back Wendell Smallwood on the way, the Steelers have their initial taxi squad in place. Here’s the full rundown: 

The Steelers were set to roll with Hodges as their QB3, up until they claimed Josh Dobbs off waivers from the Jaguars. Last year, Hodges went from an unheralded UDFA on the practice squad to a fill-in starter after Ben Roethlisberger went down. He wasn’t able to keep his momentum after a hot start, but coaches still like him as an emergency option.

Smallwood was one of the Eagles’ main running backs in 2018, but didn’t much action with Washington in 2019. In 15 games, he registered 22 carries for 81 yards, good for a 3.7 yards per tote average.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Trim Roster Down

The entire AFC North is now finished as the Steelers became the latest team to trim their roster to 53 players. Here are all the moves, we’ll recap the most notable ones at the bottom:

Lynch is probably the most well known of these names. The former Broncos first-round bust signed with the Steelers last year as insurance after multiple quarterback injuries. He’s running out of chances. Switzer has mostly contributed as a returner with Pittsburgh and Dallas, although he did have 36 catches with the Steelers in 2018.

Smallwood was one of the Eagles’ main running backs in 2018, but didn’t get too many touches with Washington last year. He’ll likely pop up somewhere else soon. Brooks Jr. was the Steelers’ sixth-round pick in this past draft, so he’s likely ticketed for the practice squad if he clears waivers.

McCullers has been with the Steelers the past six years so his is a significant departure even though the nose tackle only played 12 percent of the defensive snaps last season.

 

Reserve/Futures Contracts: 12/30/19

With the regular season behind us, teams can start signing players to reserve/futures contract. This ties the player to the team’s 90-man offseason roster.

Several teams have already started completing these deals, which we’ve compiled below:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the RavensBengalsBrowns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

* = International Pathway Program player

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/8/19

More draft choices put pen to paper on Wednesday. Here is the latest on the pick-signing front:

  • After signing two sixth-round picks on Tuesday, the Steelers checked a few more items off their offseason checklist by signing three more draftees. Third-round wide receiver Diontae Johnson signed the standard four-year rookie contract. Both fourth-round running back Benny Snell and seventh-round offensive lineman Derwin Gray signed as well. Johnson will be the player likely tasked with making the earliest impact, considering the Steelers lost arguably the greatest wideout in franchise history. Johnson will join Donte Moncrief as the new receivers tasked with helping the team replace Antonio Brown.
  • The Dolphins signed both of their seventh-round picks — fullback Chandler Cox and running back Myles Gaskin — on Wednesday. Gaskin, the No. 234 overall pick, succeeded Saquon Barkley at Penn State. Despite his late draft slot, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets he is the frontrunner to become Miami’s No. 3 back.