Running back Anthony McFarland Jr. returned to practice on Wednesday and was designated to return from the injured reserve list, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced.
McFarland, who has been out since before the start of the season with a knee injury, joined the club at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side for the first time this regular season.
The second-year back out of Maryland was expected to the the team’s top backup to Najee Harris after a strong training camp and preseason. Instead, that role has fallen to third-year back Benny Snell Jr. Snell has three carries for one yard on the season.
The Steelers have 21 days to elevate McFarland to the active roster. If they do not do so in the next three weeks, he must remain on the injured reserve list for the rest of the season.
Tackle Zach Banner (knee) is in the same position as McFarland. He is entering his second week of practicing with the team while awaiting his return from IR.
Defensive end Stephon Tuitt and defensive lineman Tyson Alualu (ankle) remain on the team’s injured reserve list and have not yet returned to practice. The Steelers have not provided a prognosis for the return of either player.