The Pittsburgh Steelers have elevated veteran defensive back Eric Rowe from their practice squad for the fourth time this season, the team announced on Sunday.
NFL players are only eligible to activated from the practice squad three times per regular season, but no such limit exists during the postseason.
Rowe played and started in each of the team’s final three regular season games, recording 29 tackles, one tackle for a loss, two passes defended, one forced fumble and one interception.
He will likely not start this week, as the Steelers are getting Minkah Fitzpatrick back from injury and Damontae Kazee back from his three-game suspension. But the Steelers safety room is still banged up.
Trenton Thompson was placed on the injured reserve list this week, ending his season with a neck injury, and Keanu Neal remains on injured reserve and has not yet returned to practice after suffering a rib injury mid-season.
Rowe, 31, has played for the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins since coming into the league as a second-round pick of the Eagles out of Utah in 2015. A 6-foot-1, 205-pound defensive back, Rowe has split his career playing time equally between outside cornerback, slot cornerback and strong safety, while also spending time at free safety and linebacker.
Last season with the Miami Dolphins, he played 248 snaps at strong safety, 188 as a slot corner, 30 as a linebacker, 57 as a free safety and 44 as an outside corner.
In his eight-year NFL career, Rowe has played in 100 games and made 56 starts. He has recorded 381 tackles, 41 passes defended, seven tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, two sacks, six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
He won Super Bowls LI and LIII with the New England Patriots and has been a multi-year teammate of Steelers linebacker Elandon Roberts. That relationship goes back and will make Rowe comfortable in the locker room to start.