The Detroit Lions have signed former Steelers safety Scott Nelson, the team announced on Sunday. The Steeler released Nelson after the team’s end to their three-day mandatory minicamp in June.
Nelson, 23, first joined the Steelers practice squad in the middle of the 2022 season. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound rookie from Wisconsin did not appear in a game during two stints on the practice squad last fall.
He was originally signed on Oct. 4, and released a week later on Oct. 11. The Steelers re-signed Nelson on Dec. 27 and he closed the season with the club. In January, the Steelers signed Nelson to a reserve/future contract for the 2023 season.
Nelson started as a redshirt freshman for the Badgers in 2018, but then missed most of 2019 due to injury and played six games in a COVID-disrupted 2020 season. He started 13 games in 2021 and ranked fourth on Wisconsin with 60 tackles.
He spent the 2022 offseason and preseason with the Seattle Seahawks, recording seven tackles, including three against the Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on Aug. 13.
Nelson had spent the 2023 offseason as a reserve safety, behind starters Minkah Fitzpatrick, Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal and more-experienced backups Miles Killebrew, Tre Norwood and Elijah Riley. West Virginia alum Kenny Robinson had been working alongside Nelson.
The Lions could use some of the depth help at safety, and Nelson had received a number of tryouts over the last few months. Now, he latches on with the Lions for another opportunity in the NFL.