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Steelers Waive RB Alfonzo Graham



Steelers Alfonzo Graham

The Pittsburgh Steelers waived running back Alfonzo Graham, the club announced on Thursday afternoon.

Graham signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of Morgan State last year, but he suffered a season-ending torn labrum early in training camp.

Graham suffered the injury during the team’s 7-on-7 period. He rose up to make a grab and came directly down on his shoulder. Trainers immediately looked at it and Graham was carted to the locker room after suffering the injury. He was one of three new injuries the team suffered on Saturday.

Graham won the MEAC rushing title in 2022, rushing for 1150 yards and 8 touchdowns while earning first-team all-conference honors with his strong 2022 season. Starting out at Arizona Western, Graham has been all around the college football landscape, including at the JUCO level at Independence Community College. Then, he would transfer up to Fullerton College, but transferred for a third time during the COVID-19 pandemic after the college canceled their season.

Not only does Graham have experience as a receiver and running back, but Graham has been a kick returner for Morgan State, amassing over 300 kick return yards in 2021. He is only 5-foot-8, but Graham seems to have impressed coaches and received a contract as a result.

The team signed Graham after a standout rookie minicamp.

The Steelers have their top three running backs already in Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren and Cordarelle Patterson. Aaron Shampkin and fullback Jack Colletto are also on the roster. Another running back will probably be added as an undrafted free agent later this month.

At the Steelers’ mandatory minicamp last June, Graham quickly found out what it takes to make it in the NFL after he challenged Minkah Fitzpatrick to a mock tackling drill. To say the least, Graham lost the drill convincingly to Fitzpatrick.

Graham attempted to juke the three-time All-Pro safety but Fitzpatrick stood there unfazed and stunned the rookie. Graham learned a valuable lesson that day but earned his money’s worth simply by learning what it takes to beat a player of Fitzpatrick’s caliber.

“We aren’t in pads, but now I see the level I have to be at,” Graham said. “I thought I could juke him, and I couldn’t. That’s the same move I’ve used my entire career. But when someone like that is a vet and knows the game, he knew what was coming. He’s not going to let me do that. That’s just something I learned really quickly. This level is different.”

It is a moment that Graham later called his welcome to the NFL moment.

“That was definitely my welcome to the NFL moment,” Graham said. “But I want to compete and be against the best. There’s not fear there. I want to see the level I have to get to play a long time in this league.”