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Former Steelers Tackle Zach Banner Hoping to Make NFL Comeback



Pittsburgh Steelers OT Zach Banner

Zach Banner last played in the NFL in 2021, but the former Steelers offensive tackle is hoping that the door is not shut on an NFL return. He suffered a torn ACL during the Week 1 game in the 2020 season against the New York Giants, and never felt quite right since then. And he is now hoping to make that comeback in 2024.

Even after returning to the field in 2021, he was in and out of the lineup during training camp before the knee swelled up again, causing him to be placed on injured reserve before the season began. While he did return, Banner never got his starting right tackle role back, and Pittsburgh released him after the 2021 season.

Since then, Banner has yet to catch on anywhere else. Banner, 30, is not retired, and despite missing the Steelers and Pittsburgh, is looking for an opportunity in the league.

“I’ve been grinding for the last two years to get back… I promise I’ll be playing football this year… But it’s awesome that my grind and passion when I was in the 412 and ultimately costing a part of my body and livelihood was enough for your love bro… First start at RT and I end up getting carted off in MetLife… I always have dreams of plays/games that I would have played in if that didn’t happen… The next year I wasn’t healthy enough… Highest paid dude in the room should be playing and not on the sideline and I’m sorry for that… 2 missed seasons is a lot of time to make you question if you still belong… But i still believe in myself,” Banner said on X.

Banner still has love for Pittsburgh. He played with the Steelers from 2018 to 2021. The knee injury set him back in his first start with the team after being the team’s jumbo tight end the previous few seasons. It happened near the end of the game after Banner had won the job over Chuks Okorafor.

Now, in 2024, Banner hopes he can catch on somewhere in the NFL. He was drafted out USC in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Banner then bounced around a few places before landing in Pittsburgh in 2018. His knee is the biggest obstacle, but if he can find a team willing to give him a shot, there’s no telling what Banner could do. He worked out with the New York Jets last season, but was not signed by the team.