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Steelers News & Transactions

Steelers Place Ryan Shazier on PUP List

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The Steelers placed linebacker Ryan Shazier on the physically unable to perform list on Monday.

Shazier, 26, suffered a season-ending and career-threatening back injury on Dec. 4, 2017 and was placed on the injured reserve. He spent the 2018 season on the PUP list, as well.

Remaining on the PUP list means that Shazier continues to accrue time toward his NFL pension and benefits and will retain his medical coverage through the team.

In March, the Steelers tolled the final season of Shazier’s contract into 2019. He will be paid the league minimum for a player of his service time.

“We will continue to support Ryan’s efforts to return to play,” general manager Kevin Colbert said to Steelers.com in March. “Although he won’t be able to help us on the field in 2019, his leadership, insight, and emotional support have always been very valuable to us, and we look forward to his contributions in our pursuit of a championship.”

Shazier has maintained his desire to return to competition someday, and has posted videos of himself lifting weights and performing other physical activities as he recovers.

 

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DEDICATION = HARDWORK + PATIENCE

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Shazier was diagnosed with a spinal contusion in the immediate aftermath of the injury. His full prognosis has never been released.

The Steelers drafted Michigan linebacker Devin Bush in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday. He is expected to be Shazier’s spiritual replacement as the Steelers inside linebacker. Veteran Jon Bostic, who was signed as a free agent before the 2018 season, was released on Saturday.

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Steelers Sign another from XFL, DE/LB Dewayne Hendrix

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The Steelers have signed former Pitt defensive end Dewayne Hendrix, Steelers Now has confirmed. The news of Hendrix’s signing was first reported by NFL Draft Diamonds.

Hendrix, 24, was most recently with the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL. He also spent time on the practice squad of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins last season.

In five games with St. Louis, Hendrix made four tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry.

A two-year starter at Pitt after transferring from Tennessee, Hendrix finished his Panthers career with 50 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. He played in 25 games total for Pitt from 2016-18 and made 24 starts.

Hendrix missed the 2016 season with a season-ending ankle injury suffered on the first series of the game. He sat out 2015 at Pitt after playing in seven games with the Volunteers as a true freshman.

At 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds, Hendrix played defensive end at Pitt, but could be more suited to be an outside linebacker in the Steelers’ 3-4 scheme. He’s essentially the same height and weight as starting outside linebacker Bud Dupree.

Hendrix is the fifth XFL alum the Steelers have signed, joining long snapper and linebacker Christian Kuntz, defensive end Cavon Walker, tackle Jarron Jones and safety Tyree Kinnel.

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Steelers News & Transactions

Steelers Re-Sign Linebacker, Long Snapper Christian Kuntz

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The Steelers have re-signed long snapper and linebacker Christian Kuntz, Steelers Now has confirmed. 

Kuntz, a Chartiers Valley and Duquesne alum, was with the Steelers in training camp and during the preseason in 2019 and spent the spring with the Dallas Renegades of the XFL. The news of his singing was first reported by Mark Kaboly of The Athletic.

A 6-foot-2, 237-pound linebacker, Kuntz was a three-time FCS All-American at Duquesne and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as FCS Defensive Player of the Year.

After leaving Duquesne, Kuntz added long snapping to his repertoire. Since finishing up with the Dukes in 2016, he has also spent time with the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars.

In 2019, he played in three preseason games with the Steelers recording five tackles and a sack in the finale against Carolina on Aug. 29.

Kuntz is the fourth XFL veteran to join the Steelers this offseason. They have also signed tackle Jarron Jones, defensive end Cavon Walker (New York Guardians) and safety Tyree Kinnel (DC Defenders).

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Steelers News & Transactions

Steelers Sign Two More from XFL in T Jarron Jones and S Tyree Kinnel

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The Steelers signed their second and third XFL players of the offseason yesterday, inking tackle Jarron Jones and safety Tyree Kinnel to deals according to various sources.

Jones, who played at Notre Dame was taken in the first round of the XFL’s lineman draft in 2019 by the New York Guardians. Rich Cimini was the first with the signing.

The Steelers also added some more safety help, picking up Tyree Kinnel. Kinnel went undrafted out of Michigan and signed briefly with the Cincinnati Bengals last season. Kinnel had 17 tackles in five games for the DC Defenders before their season was cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The news of the signing was first reported by Kinnel’s representative Vince Calo on Twitter.

The two players will join another former-XFL player in NY Guardians defensive tackle Cavon Walker on the Steelers roster. The team inked the XFL’s season sack leader to a deal Wednesday morning.

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