The Steelers have promoted running back Qadree Ollison from the practice squad for Sunday night’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders, the team announced on Saturday.
Pittsburgh placed running Anthony McFarland on injured reserve on Monday, meaning he will miss the next three games. McFarland can return following the team’s bye week, but until then, Ollison is one of the players in the front of the pack to earn playing time. Pittsburgh signed Godwin Igwebuike of the Falcons practice squad earlier this week, but this move likely signals that he will not get a helmet. Ollison played for the Steelers against the Browns, logging mostly special teams snaps.
Ollison, a 2019 Pitt alum, has played plenty of games at Acrisure Stadium in his career, but the fifth-year pro has yet to appear in an NFL game there. That will likely change this Sunday. Ollison was in training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars and has only been with the Steelers for two weeks. Still, his experience and familiarity with the offense have allowed him to pick things up quickly.
“I feel like I’ve been picking it up fairly well,” Ollison said. “Getting a lot of help from the guys that have been in the offense, you know Najee, Jaylen, Ant. I played for Coach Canada in 2016. It’s a little bit similar, but a lot has changed since then. … The hardest part is having to learn the intricacies or the little details within the plays. I’m picking that up as I go along.”
With the move, Ollison is only on the active roster for Sunday’s game. Following the game, he will revert to the practice squad, and is not officially part of the team’s 53-man roster. Each team gets three practice squad call ups for each player, and this is two for Ollison.
A fifth-round pick by the Falcons in the 2019 NFL Draft, Ollison spent three seasons in Atlanta from 2019-21. His most productive season was in 2021, when he rushed 21 times for 105 yards and a touchdown and caught four of six targets for 12 yards.
Ollison was waived by the Falcons last August and signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. He was elevated for three games, but played almost exclusively on special teams, getting just two snaps of offense. Ollison has been a regular special teams performer throughout his career.