The Steelers are releasing edge rusher David Perales from the practice squad, the team announced on Tuesday. They are adding safety Jalen Elliott for help with Minkah Fitzpatrick likely out. Elliott was with the team during training camp.
Perales played extensively in the preseason, getting 50 snaps of defense in the opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills, and steadily improving his play. He played 30 snaps against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 and 20 against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3, but saw his PFF grade climb from 42.0 to 48.0 to 63.1. Perales finished the preseason with four tackles and one quarterback hurry.
A hyper-productive college player, Perales played in all 14 games for the Bulldogs in 2022 and totaled 47 combined tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. His best game of last season came against San Jose State when he recorded a career-high five tackles for loss and four sacks in that single game.
Following the season, Perales earned first-team All-Mountain West honors for his stellar play. His 16 tackles for loss were the most in a season by a Bulldog since 2015. His 11.5 sacks ranked seventh in the entirety of the FBS.
Perales broke out in 2021 as he finished the season with a whooping 13.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks for the Bulldogs. In 13 appearances, Perales tacked on 45 total tackles and three forced fumbles. Following the season, Perales was named to the second-team All-Mountain West for the second season in a row.
Before his time at Fresno, he played for FCS Sacramento State and at the junior college level with Merced Junior College. Perales could circle back around. The Steelers have Kyron Johnson as the only other edge rusher on the practice squad, while the four rostered players on the 53-man roster play. Elliott will join Trenton Thompson as the practice squad safeties with Fitzpatrick injured.