The Pittsburgh Steelers have elevated linebacker Tariq Carpenter and safety Trenton Thompson from the practice squad to the active roster for the second consecutive week, the team announced on Saturday.
Carpenter, 24, made his Steelers debut in last Sunday’s 23-19 win over the Green Bay Packers after he was elevated from the practice squad last Saturday. He played 10 snaps, all on special teams, and made one tackle.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Georgia Tech alum has played all over the defense in his career, with time at safety, edge rusher and inside linebacker while playing with the Green Bay Packers after being selected in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
As a rookie in 2022, he played in 14 games, playing mostly on special teams, and recorded eight tackles with the Packers. With the Steelers, he will primarily play on special teams, helping to backfill the jobs vacated when Elandon Roberts and Mark Robinson were moved into bigger roles at linebacker after injuries to Kwon Alexander and Cole Holcomb.
Thompson, 25, is expected to make his first career start at safety, with injured starters Minkah Fitzpatrick (hamstring) and Keanu Neal (rib) both ruled out of this week’s game. Thompson joined the Steelers in training camp after a number of injuries at the safety position and got plenty of playing time throughout camp and the preseason, but played his first game with the team in Week 10, when he was called up from the practice squad to replace Fitzpatrick on the active roster.
Thompson played seven snaps of defense against the Packers. One of the Steelers’ three San Diego State alumni, Thompson and fellow safety Damontae Kazee played together with the Aztecs in 2016 and now appear set to be the Steelers’ starting safety tandem against the Browns.
Thompson signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft and spent the season primarily on the practice squad. Despite being promoted to the team’s active roster for one game last season, Thompson only played 12 snaps for the Giants with all coming on special teams. But he appears ready to jump into the shark’s tank and start this week against the Browns.
Both Carpenter and Thompson have now been elevated twice. They can only be elevated three times before the Steelers will be forced to add them to the 53-man roster in order to continue playing them.