The Pittsburgh Steelers are promoting nose tackle Breiden Fehoko from their practice squad to the active roster, according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Fehoko was one of the team’s final cuts coming out of training camp and has been on the practice squad ever since.
The Steelers had two open spots on their 53-man roster after placing wide receiver Diontae Johnson and running back Anthony McFarland on the injured reserve list on Monday.
Fehokoe will functionally replace injured defensive tackle Cam Heyward, who was placed on IR earlier last week and replaced by wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick.
A 6-foot-3, 300-pound Hawaii native, Fehoko is a powerful run-stopper, which the Steelers obviously need. They allowed 198 yards rushing to the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 and 188 yards to the San Francisco 49ers in the opener.
Fehoko, 26, spent his first three seasons with the Chargers after going undrafted out of LSU in 2020. Fehoko started his college career at Texas Tech before transferring to LSU in 2017, which concluded with a National Championship with the Tigers in 2019.
Fehoko made the Chargers’ initial 53-man roster in 2022 but was waived on Sept. 12 and re-signed to the practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster on Nov. 9. Fehoko recorded a career-high 279 defensive snaps and 36 on special teams in 2022. The Honolulu native has appeared in 19 career games with four starts and has 36 tackles. Fehoko has no career sacks and just one tackle for loss.
Fehoko playing nose tackle could allow the Steelers to use Montravius Adams in more of a three-technique role, where he could help to replace Heyward, who is expected to miss about seven more weeks after core muscle surgery.
The Steelers now have a full 53-man roster, but Fehoko’s promotion leaves a vacancy on the team’s 16-man practice squad.