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Steelers Injury Updates

Steelers Place DeMarvin Leal on IR, Promote 3 Practice Squad DBs

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Steelers DL DeMarvin Leal

The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed defensive end DeMarvin Leal on the injured reserve list with the knee injury that he suffered in practice this week, added cornerback Josh Jackson to the 53-man roster and announced two more game-day elevations from the practice squad in the secondary: safety Elijah Riley and cornerback Quincy Wilson.

Leal, the team’s third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M, had been playing a growing role on the Pittsburgh defense, participating in all five games and starting in the Week 5 loss to the Buffalo Bills. 

Leal had originally been slated to play end in the team’s 3-4 base defense, but also found playing time as an end in the four-man front Nickel and Dime alignments after the injury to outside linebacker T.J. Watt.

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Leal was a full participant in practice the first two days of this week but did not practice on Friday and was ruled out for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday. The extent of his injury has not been announced. Leal will be eligible to return from the injured reserve list for the team’s Week 11 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Second-year defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk, who has been a healthy scratch in each of the first five games of the season, is expected to replace Leal in the lineup, though Loudermilk plays only the interior defensive line positions and not edge rusher.

Leal was moved to the injured reserve list to make room for Jackson on the 53-man roster. Jackson, who was just added to the Steelers practice squad on Sept. 5, is expected to start at outside cornerback with Cam Sutton, Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon all ruled out for Sunday’s game.

Jackson was a practice squad elevation for the team’s Week 5 game in Buffalo with Witherspoon out and was called into service when both Sutton and Wallace left with injures. He, James Pierre, Art Maulet, Tre Norwood and Terrell Edmunds are expected to be the starting secondary.

Jackson, 26, was the second-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2018 and has played 42 NFL games, all with the Packers. He also spent time with the New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals.

Riley was also elevated to the active roster against the Bills but did not play. He will serve as a backup to Tre Norwood at free safety on Sunday and could also play as a Dime defensive back. An undrafted free agent out of Army in 2020, Riley has played 13 games with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets.

Wilson has joined the Steelers Practice squad on Sept. 21. He has played 32 career games with the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts, who drafted him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Wilson will serve as the backup outside cornerback behind Pierre and Jackson on Sunday.

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