The Steelers have placed offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski on the injured reserve list and promoted offensive lineman Derwin Gray from their practice squad, the team announced on Friday.
Wisniewski suffered a pectoral injury late in the Steelers’ 26-16 season-opening win over the New York Giants on Monday and did not return. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he would “leave the light on” for Wisniewski to play this week, but he did not practice in any of the team’s three sessions in advance of Sunday’s home opener against the Denver Broncos.
Wisniewski started in place of David DeCastro on Monday. DeCastro, who has been out with a knee injury since the second week of training camp, has also been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Rookie Kevin Dotson is expected to start at right guard.
For the 2020 season, the NFL has added significant flexibility when it comes to the rules surrounding the injured reserve. Wisniewski will have to miss at least three weeks’ worth of games and practices while on the IR. At that point, the Steelers could return him to practicing with the team and would have another three weeks to decide whether they want to add him back to the active roster or remain on reserve for the remainder of the season. There is no maximum number of players that can return from IR this season.
The Steelers signed Wisniewski, a Central Catholic and Penn State alum, as an unrestricted free agent from the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason, hoping to use him as a swing backup between center and guard in the fashion the team had used B.J. Finney in recent years. Wisniewski signed a two-year, $2.85 million contract with the Steelers.
Gray, 25, was the Steelers’ seventh-round draft pick out of Maryland in 2019. He did not make the team out of training camp last season, spent all of 2019 on the practice squad and then re-signed a reserve/future contract for 2020 in December. He was released once again on Sept. 5 of this year and added to the practice squad the next day. A tackle in college, Gray has played mostly guard in his time with the Steelers.
Wisniewski is the second Steelers player and second offensive lineman to be placed on injured reserve following the season opener. The Steelers placed right tackle Zach Banner on the reserve list on Wednesday.
Steelers Re-Sign WR Anthony Johnson to Practice Squad; Release WR Amara Darboh
The Steelers have re-signed wide receiver Anthony Johnson to their practice squad and released wide receiver Amara Darboh.
Johnson, 25, is in his second professional season out of Buffalo. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound receiver spent the 2020 offseason with the Steelers before suffering a knee injury in training camp.
Teams cannot re-sign players that they’ve reached an injury settlement with for at least three weeks longer than the term of the settlement, which is not publicly disclosed.
The Steelers originally signed Johnson to a reserve/future contract on Jan. 8. He spent the 2019 preseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then on the practice squad of the Los Angeles Chargers.
In two seasons at Buffalo, Johnson caught 133 passes for 2,367 yards and 25 touchdowns. He led the MAC in receiving yards per game in his junior season.
Darboh joined the Steelers mid-year in 2019 after spending time with the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a third-round pick of the Seahawks in 2017.
The Steelers initially signed him to their practice squad on Nov. 18, 2019, then he was promoted to the active roster on Dec. 16, 2019, but did not play in a game. He returned to the Steelers for 2020, was waived at the end of training camp and re-signed to the practice squad.
When Diontae Johnson was injured earlier this season and missed time, the Steelers elevated fellow practice squad receiver Deon Cain ahead of Darboh.
The Steelers’ 16-man practice squad and 53-man roster are both full after the transactions.
Steelers Sign P Jordan Berry, Elevate Trey Edmunds, Jayrone Elliott from Practice Squad
The Steelers officially signed veteran punter Jordan Berry, who previously punted for Pittsburgh from 2015 to 2020, and elevated two players from the practice squad.
Berry came in for a visit this past week after the Steelers released veteran punter Dustin Colquitt, who was signed to replace Berry right before the start of the regular season.
Despite the team’s 5-0 record, Mike Tomlin hinted Colquitt’s struggles could trigger a change at punter.
In other news, running back Trey Edmunds and linebacker Jayrone Elliott have both been elevated from the practice squad ahead of the team’s Week 7 game in Tennessee against the Titans. This marks the second time Edmunds has been elevated from the practice squad this season.
Report: Steelers to Sign, Bring Back Punter Jordan Berry
The Steelers are expected to sign Jordan Berry, according to Field Yates. Berry did come in for a visit with the team this past week.
This report comes after the Steelers released veteran punter Dustin Colquitt, who was signed right before the start of the regular season. Berry, who punted for Pittsburgh from 2015-1019, would be replacing the man who was brought in to replace him. Berry’s contract was terminated following the signing of Colquitt.
Despite the team’s 5-0 record, Mike Tomlin hinted Colquitt’s struggles could trigger a change at punter before the team’s Sunday road game against the Titans.