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Another Steelers Safety Suffers Significant Injury



Steelers DB Elijah Riley
Steelers DB Elijah Riley against the Buffalo Bills, Aug 19, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers have placed safety Elijah Riley on injured reserve with what Mike Tomlin described as a high ankle sprai. He will have to miss four games and is the second safety in three days to land on injured reserve after Keanu Neal was placed on injured reserve with a rib injury suffered against the Packers.

Riley suffered the injury in the third quarter of the game and did not return. He was replaced as the team’s Dime defensive back by a combination of safety Miles Killebrew and cornerback James Pierre. Riley plays safety, slot cornerback and special teams for the Steelers, and he was into the mix on defense thanks to that team already dealing with injuries to starting safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Neal as mentioned above. High ankle sprains are tough and multi-week injuries, so injured reserve is no surprise.

In his place, Trenton Thompson will play more. The team also signed veteran safety Eric Rowe to the practice squad for help. Fitzpatrick has a chance to return this week after missing three games with a hamstring strain suffered against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter of that game. Damontae Kazee will remain the veteran in the room until Rowe is ready or Fitzpatrick returns. Jalen Elliott remains on the practice squad while Thompson got elevated to the 53-man roster.

A West Point alum, Riley spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets in 2020 and 2021 before joining the Steelers in 2022. He has played 26 career games, 13 in Pittsburgh. Riley has 56 career tackles, five tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, two sacks and one pass defended.

Riley had previously filled in for Fitzpatrick when he left the Steelers’ Week 2 game against the Browns with an injury. He had one tackle, one tackle for loss, one sack and one quarterback hit in that contest.