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Steelers Get Critical Boost with Return of Injured DB



Steelers DB Elijah Riley

The Steelers have placed designated safety Elijah Riley to return from injured reserve with what Mike Tomlin described as a high ankle sprai. He missed four games and is a much-needed safety who will return with the team missing Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and potentially Trenton Thompson.

Riley suffered the injury in the third quarter of the game against the Browns and did not return. He was replaced as the team’s Dime defensive back by a combination of safety Miles Killebrew and cornerback James Pierre. Riley plays safety, slot cornerback and special teams for the Steelers, and he was into the mix on defense thanks to that team already dealing with injuries to starting safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Neal, as mentioned above. But even with his return, the team is still injured at that position.

With his return, Riley could see significant snaps. The team also signed veteran safety Eric Rowe to the practice squad for help. . Jalen Elliott and Herny Black remain on the practice squad as guys who could help.

A West Point alum, Riley spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets in 2020 and 2021 before joining the Steelers in 2022. He has played 26 career games, 13 in Pittsburgh. Riley has 56 career tackles, five tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, two sacks and one pass defended.

Riley had previously filled in for Fitzpatrick when he left the Steelers’ Week 2 game against the Browns with an injury. He had one tackle, one tackle for loss, one sack and one quarterback hit in that contest.