The Steelers released Chris Wilcox during final cut downs on Tuesday, and now he will officially not return to Pittsburgh. Wilcox signed with the Los Angeles Chargers on their practice squad on Friday, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston.
Pittsburgh decided to go in a different direction with most of their defensive backs, welcoming Luq Barcoo and Trenton Thompson back onto the practice squad but failing to re-sign Wilcox to the practice squad. Instead, they brought Josiah Scott and Anthony Brown as veteran depth options within the practice squad. With seven cornerbacks on the roster, including three slot cornerbacks, the veteran nature of the room is becoming more ingrained. Pittsburgh still has three spots on their practice squad, though one of those spots will be filled by Tariq Carpenter.
Wilcox had been in competition with incumbent James Pierre and others to be the team’s fourth outside cornerback, hoping to use his long frame and elite speed (he ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash) as weapons, but was unable to secure a roster spot.
He played in 61 defensive snaps throughout the preseason, getting 26 snaps in the opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24 against the Buffalo Bills and 11 against the Atlanta Falcons. He was targeted one time in coverage and gave up one 8-yard completion, according to PFF. He finished the preseason with six tackles in all situations.
A 6-foot-2, 195-pound BYU product, Wilcox was a seventh-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021. He never made the Bucs squad but was claimed on waivers by the Indianapolis Colts, where he spent most of the 2021 season on the practice squad but did not appear in a game.
The Colts released Wilcox from their practice squad this Sept. 13. He was signed by the Arizona Cardinals to their practice squad on Dec. 28 for the final weeks of the season, but not retained and signed with the Steelers in January.