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Steelers Sign Former Penn State Running Back



Pittsburgh Steelers John Lovett

The Steelers will sign former Penn State running back John Lovett to a contract, the official XFL Twitter account revealed on Monday.

Lovett played with Penn State in 2021 after transferring out of Baylor, where he played from 2017 to 2020. During his time at college with the Nittany Lions and Baylor, he put up 1980 yards and 17 touchdowns over five years in the NCAA. His best season was in 2019 when Lovett posted 655 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on 103 rushes with the Baylor Bears.

The Steelers tried out four different running backs and Lovett won out. After going undrafted out of Penn State, he signed with the Carolina Panthers but could not catch on for long there. Once released, Lovett went to the XFL to try his fortunes there, and it worked out.

Playing with the Vegas Vipers under the direction of head coach Rod Woodson, he posted 227 yards on 59 carries and 3 touchdowns. However, he added in 14 receptions for 269 yards, flashing some real skill out of the backfield as a receiver that could make him intriguing.

It comes after the Steelers lost rookie running back Alfonzo Graham. He is dealing with a right shoulder injury and it will cost him the rest of the 2023 season. He missed practice on Sunday, sporting a sling on his right shoulder, and seemingly did not look like he was going to suit up. Well, on Monday, Graham tweeted that he suffered a torn labrum and would miss the 2023 season. That left the running back room a little short.

In addition, fullback Monte Pottebaum retired on Sunday. That left the team with only 88 players on their 90-man roster. Lovett will fill Graham’s spot, but there is still one other roster spot open that the team can decide to fill, and they likely will fill it before the start of Tuesday’s first padded practice.

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