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Steelers Injury Updates

Injured Steelers CB Cory Trice Jr. Returns to Action

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Steelers CB Cory Trice
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cory Trice Jr. during OTAs on May 31, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Second-year Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cory Trice Jr. took part in the second day of his team’s offseason training program, according to a photo posted by the team on X on Wednesday, his first confirmed on-field work since suffering an ACL tear last season.

Trice, 23, was the Steelers’ seventh-round pick out of Purdue in the 2024 NFL Draft. Originally considered to be a potential second-day pick, Trice fell down draft boards due to injury concerns, and the Steelers were able to snap him up late in the draft, pairing him with Joey Porter Jr. to give the Steelers two tall, fast, physical cornerbacks in the draft class. Head coach Mike Tomlin called them his “Avatar cornerbacks,” for their freaky size and length.

Unfortunately, Trice’s rookie season never got off the ground. He was carted off the field at training camp on Aug. 1 after making a tackle in a live run period. He was placed on injured reserve the next day, ending his rookie season before he even got to appear in a preseason game.

Before joining the Steelers, the 6-foot-3, 215 pound Hopkinsville, Kentucky native was a longtime Boilermaker, joining Purdue in 2018. Trice dealt with significant injury issues throughout his collegiate career, which likely contributed to him sliding down draft boards.

He played just two full seasons, 11 games in 2019 and 13 games in 2022. He had three interceptions and 35 tackles in 2021 and two interceptions and 34 tackles in 2022. Trice had eight career passes defended from 2018-21, but broke out with 21 in that area as a redshirt senior in 2022.

At the 2023 NFL Combine, Trice ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash and had an impressive 11-foot broad jump, to go along with a 35.5-inch vertical jump.

After Trice was injured, the Steelers replaced him with Darius Rush, another tall, long and fast cornerback from the 2023 NFL Draft class. The South Carolina alum was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the fifth round, and was on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad when the Steelers signed him in mid-October.

Rush played in three games and made three tackles and defended a pass for the Steelers last season. Trice and Rush are currently third and fourth on the team’s depth chart at cornerback, behind Porter and recent trade acquisition Donte Jackson.

Wednesday was the second day of the team’s in-person preseason conditioning program. The first phase includes two weeks of strength and conditioning activities, with no formational component. The players spent a maximum of 90 minutes per day on the practice field and four hours per day at the facility for the workouts, which are completely voluntary.