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Steelers Transactions

Jets Sign Athletic Ex-Steelers Running Back to Practice Squad



Steelers RB Xazavian Valladay
Steelers RB Xazavian Valladay at training camp, Aug. 17. 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers have lost athletic running back Xazavian Valladay to the New York Jets, who will sign Valladay to their practice squad, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

Valladay was an athletic running back with speed and acceleration that no one other than Anthony McFarland had on the team. However, he came into the process late, only playing with the Steelers for two of their preseason games. The team signed Valladay after an injury to John Lovett prevented Lovett from sticking around on the Steelers roster. Over those two games, Valladay racked up 25 snaps, posting 12 carries for 30 yards over those two games.

A 6-foot, 200-pound Chicago native, Valladay signed with the Texans this spring after going undrafted out of Arizona State. In his one season with the Sun Devils, Valladay played in 10 games, rushing 215 times for 1,192 yards (5.5 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns. He led the team with 1,481 all-purpose yards. Pittsburgh signed him after the Texans waived him.

Before his one season at ASU, Valladay was one of the best running backs in Wyoming history. He played four seasons with the Cowboys, racking up 3,281 yards and 19 touchdowns, leaving Laramie as the second-leading rusher in program history.

Valladay showed elite speed in the pre-draft process, running a 4.46-second 40-yard dash and posting a 40-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-3 broad jump. His overall Relative Athletic Score came in at a 9.46 out of 10.

When he first signed with the Texans, he was expected to be a player who could be an immediate contributor, drawing comparisons to former star UDFA running back Arian Foster.

As a result of the signing, Valladay opens up a spot for Greg Bell to potentially come back on the team’s practice squad. Bell played similar reps to Valladay over the three games he played with the teams, showing his receiving chops in the process.

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