September 7th, 2020 at 6:16pm CST by Zachary Links
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.
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.
Prior to Thursday night’s ugly conclusion in Cleveland, the Steelers lost multiple wide receivers to injuries. They will respond by adding wideout Deon Cain from the Colts’ practice squad, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson — Pittsburgh’s Nos. 1-2 wideouts this season — suffered concussions during the Week 11 loss to the Browns. The Steelers will add Cain, whom the Colts recently viewed as a player who could be a reliable target.
The Colts cut Cain last week but were able to pass him through waivers and onto their practice squad. They opted not to promote him again and will see him head to Pittsburgh. Indianapolis drafted Cain in the sixth round out of Clemson in 2018 and were pleased with his early development, but an ACL tear during his initial training camp threw that development off course. This season, Cain could not gain a foothold in Indianapolis’ depleted receiving corps, catching just four passes for 52 yards in seven games.