The Pittsburgh Steelers did not activate safety Damontae Kazee from the injured reserve list before Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline in order for him to play in the team’s Week 9 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kazee has been recovering from an arm injury suffered in the team’s final preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Aug. 28. He was originally expected to miss about eight weeks, and returned to practice on Oct. 20.
Kazee has been practicing for two weeks now, but the Steelers decided not to activate him against the Eagles. With the Steelers off next week, it seems likely that Kazee will return for the team’s Week 10 game against the New Orleans Saints.
The Steelers will have to activate Kazee to the 53-man roster before his 21 day window closes, or he must remain on the injured reserve list for the rest of the season.
While Kazee was injured, he was suspended three games for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. His suspension has been served while on the injured reserve list.
RELATED: Steelers Safety Damontae Kazee Suspended for Substance Abuse
Kazee’s absence came with a number of a maladies in the secondary, with five starters and several backups all missing time over the first third of the season. Before his injury, Kazee had been working as a third safety behind starters Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds. Tre Norwood has been filling that role so far.
Kazee joined the Steelers as a free agent from the Dallas Cowboys this offseason on a one-year contract. He signed with made 15 starts for the Cowboys in 2021 after signing there as a free agent. He recorded 52 tackles, two interceptions, four passes defended and a lot of forced fumbles.
He was originally a fifth-round pick for the Falcons in the 2017 NFL Draft. Kazee played sparingly as a rookie, but quickly moved into a starting role for Atlanta in his second season in 2018. That year, he set career highs in tackles with 82, passes defended with 10 and seven interceptions, which also led the NFL.
The Steelers also did not activate wide receiver and kick returner Calvin Austin III and outside linebacker T.J. Watt this week. Austin’s season is over. Watt still has two more weeks of his window.