The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed inside linebacker Cole Holcomb on the injured reserve list, the team announced on Monday.
Holcomb is expected to miss the remainder of the 2023 season with a significant left knee injury suffered in his team’s game against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football.
The Steelers have not given a specific diagnosis for Holcomb’s injury, but head coach Mike Tomlin noted the seriousness of the situation after the game.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with him,” he said.
Holcomb was chasing down Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the second quarter when teammate Keanu Neal tackled Hopkins and swung around his body. Neal’s left leg impacted Holcomb’s left leg right below Holcomb’s knee, buckling it backward.
Holcomb, 27, is a fifth-year linebacker out of North Carolina. He joined the Steelers this March on a three-year free-agent contract after spending his first four seasons in Washington.
Through seven games, Holcomb was second on the team with 52 tackles, and also had four tackles for loss, one quarterback hit, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and two passes defended.
Without Holcomb in the lineup, Kwon Alexander and Elandon Roberts, who have shared time at the other inside linebacker position, moved into a full-time role. Second-year man Mark Robinson is the only other inside linebacker on the active roster. Tariq Carpenter and Mykal Walker are on the practice squad.
The Steelers used the vacancy on their 53-man roster to reinstate running back Anthony McFarland Jr. from the injured reserve list.
Holcomb’s injury happened just after the NFL trade deadline, so they are unable to acquire a replacement in that fashion.