The Steelers have activated running back Jaylen Samuels from the COVID-19 Reserve List, putting the team at full strength for the first time in 2020 training camp.
Samuels was placed on the COVID-19 Reserve List, which is for players that have either tested positive or have been exposed to a positive case and must isolate, on Aug. 2.
Steelers running backs coach Eddie Faulkner said on Wednesday that he had been in constant contact with Samuels throughout his absence.
“I talk to him daily,” Faulkner said. “First of all, my most important concern is his wellbeing. Secondly, to make sure he is up to speed. As far as meetings and what we have talked about and plays going in that day. He does have the advantage of going into his third year so he has done most of these things and everything will resonate with him once he hears it. he is just going to have to go out, when he does show up, hit the ground running.”
Samuels rushed 66 times for 175 yards in his second pro season in 2019, with his 2.7 yards per carry average representing a big drop from the 4.6 mark he posted as a rookie and coming in last in the Steelers backfield rotation.
With Samuels out, the Steelers have utilized second-year backs Benny Snell and Kerrith Whyte, rookie Anthony McFarland, and veterans Trey Edmunds and Wendell Smallwood.
In order to make room for Samuels on the 80-man roster, the Steelers released fullback Spencer Nigh. Nigh, 23, was signed by the Steelers as a rookie free agent out of Auburn after going undrafted. Nigh had been behind presumptive starter Derek Watt at fullback.