The Steelers are re-signing Brad Wing to their practice squad, the team announced on Wednesday. He was with the team earlier this season, punting for two games that Pressley Harvin III missed with a hamstring injury. It is unknown if the signing will push Harvin, who has struggled this season, or because Harvin is injured.
Wing was out of the NFL from 2018 until 2023, when the Steelers gave him a chance. He was initially on the team in 2014. Wing’s career took a significant sidetrack in 2018, when he was released by the New York Giants amid substance abuse problems.
Wing got himself clean, turned his life around and in 2023, returned to football, playing for Hines Ward’s San Antonio Brahmas in the XFL. Even though he was a team captain for the Brahmas and led the XFL in punting average, no one in the NFL wanted to take a chance on a 32-year-old punter with baggage.
But the Steelers gave him a tryout, the one team willing to let him show off where his game had developed in his time away from football. When Harvin suffered a hamstring injury, the Steelers called Wing back and gave him a second shot.
If his stats in that sample are any indication, the left-footer still has it. He averaged 45 yards per punt and 38.9 yards net punting. He averaged 43.7 gross and 38.8 net in his first season with the Steelers in 2014. So, it certainly seems like Wing will get a significant opportunity to show what he can do moving forward, and that Pittsburgh could be looking for some competition at a spot they have received little from throughout the entire season.
Wing’s punting would have him over Harvin, but still around the bottom of the league for the 2023 season. Harvin has the 2nd worst yards per punt in 2023 at just 43.8 yards.