The Steelers hosted two players for workouts on Tuesday as they looked to retool their practice squad. According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston, Pittsburgh hosted Ben Mason and John Samuel Shenker for visits at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. That comes on the heels of the Steelers releasing Scotty Washington and Joey Fisher from the practice squad. They have two spots open on the practice squad, with two more available on the active roster. More spots on the practice squad could open up, with Mykal Walker and Tariq Carpenter potentially coming up.
Mason is a fullback out of Michigan. In the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and worked as a fullback, H-back, and tight end with them. However, he never made the team’s initial 53-man roster, as the Ravens found Pat Ricard more effective. Mason would leave Baltimore to join the Patriots practice squad. Later, they would release him, and he would head to Chicago before returning to Baltimore for the entire 2022 season and 2023 offseason. The Ravens released him from their practice squad on September 26th. Mason has not played in an NFL game in his career.
Shenker emerges from Auburn as an undrafted free agent in the 2023 NFL Draft. He joined the Las Vegas Raiders during the summer, but they released him from their practice squad on October 5th. Since then, Shenker has not found a new NFL home as a rookie. He is an older rookie, graduating from college at 25 years old. While at Auburn, Shenker was a key contributor for three seasons, becoming the record-holder for most catches by a tight end in Auburn history. Shenker ended his career with 718 receiving yards and a touchdown. He is more of a blocking tight end than someone known for receiving chops at the NFL level.
Pittsburgh will likely return Pat Freiermuth from his ankle injury this week, which intrigues these tryouts. But they do not have a tight end on the practice squad after releasing Washington, so this could be more personnel-related than anything.