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Steelers DB Bryce Watts Clears Waivers, Reverts to IR

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Steelers DB Bryce Watts

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Bryce Watts cleared waivers and reverted to the injured reserve list on Tuesday after being waived with an injury designation on Monday.

Watts, one of the team’s initial undrafted free agent signings out of UMass, suffered an undisclosed football-related injury, likely during the team’s rookie minicamp last weekend.

Because Watts was added to the injured reserve list before the start of the regular season, he is not eligible to be activated from the injured reserve during the season. If he spends the entire 2022 season on the injured reserve list, the Steelers would retain his rights for the 2023 season and beyond.

The team and Watts can also reach an injury settlement, which would pay him through the projected end of his injury and then allow him to sign with another team.

Watts is the second young defensive back to go through that process so far this offseason, joining Isaiah Johnson, who also cleared waivers and reverted to the injured reserve list after being waived/injured.

The Steelers signed undrafted rookie defensive back Carlins Platel after hosting him at rookie minicamp for a tryout.

Watts entered the draft despite being a redshirt junior and still having one year of college eligibility left. The 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback is from Toms River, New Jersey and went to Toms River North High School.

Watts moved around a lot while in college. He originally went to Virginia Tech from 2017-18 and started at cornerback in 2018 while appearing in all games as a freshman on special teams or a defensive back replacement in 2017. He then transferred to the University of North Carolina prior to the 2019 season, but sat out that year due to the NCAA’s transfer policy at the time. He later found himself at UMass prior to the 2021 season.

He only had one interception while at UMass and that came against Connecticut on Oct. 9. He had 43 tackles last season, with a high of seven coming against Toledo on Oct. 2.

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