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Steelers Elevate Playmaking Safety from Practice Squad



Steelers FS Eric Rowe
Steelers safety Eric Rowe against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 23, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers are elevating safety Eric Rowe from the practice for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Rowe will be in line to start once again with Minkah Fitzpatrick and Trenton Thompson out. It figures that the starting lineup could be Rowe and Patrick Peterson, with Peterson making the move from cornerback to safety with the injuries for the second straight week..

Minkah Fitzpatrick is out with a knee injury, and Damontae Kazee will not play for the rest of the regular season after being suspended by the NFL for his hit on Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman.

That opens the door for Rowe, who has played in the NFL for nearly a decade. Not only that, he is a guy who has been around winning organizations with the Patriots, so he knows how this works. He has been in the system for a month at this point and seems to be assimilating well into the system.

He grabbed an interception against the Bengals, and despite some questionable tackling angles, including one that led to a touchdown, he did well in his first start with the team.

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.