The Steelers agreed to host three players for tryout on Thursday, according to the NFL transactions page, including potential backups at three positions impacted by COVID-19 reserve list and injury-related absences, as the the team hosted offensive tackle Cody Conway, defensive end Shareef Miller and center Zach Shackelford.
Conway (6-foot-6, 307 pounds) is a second-year pro out of Syracuse that has spent time with the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and most recently the San Francisco 49ers, who released Conway from their practice squad on Oct. 27. He has never played in an NFL game.
The Steelers played without backup tackle Jerald Hawkins on Wednesday and activated Anthony Coyle from the practice squad, but when starting right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor was briefly injured, Matt Feiler shifted to tackle and was replaced by Kevin Dotson at left guard.
Miller (6-foot-4, 255 pounds) is a second-year pro out of Penn State. He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019 NFL Draft, but was waived before the start of the 2020 season after playing just two snaps in his rookie season. Miller was claimed on waivers by the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 6, but waived once again a month later without playing a game. The Eagles then brought Miller back to their practice squad, but released him on Dec. 1.
A defensive end in the 4-3 alignment at Penn State, Miller likely projects to be an outside linebacker in the Steelers’ scheme, where he could help offset the loss of starter Bud Dupree, who was placed on the injured reserve list with an ACL injury on Thursday.
Shackelford (6-foot-4, 305 pounds) is a rookie out of Texas. He spent the offseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was waived at the end of the training camp. With Maurkice Pouncey on the COVID-19 reserve list, the Steelers have just one natural center on their roster at the moment in Wednesday night’s starter J.C. Hassenauer.