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Steelers Promote Linebacker to 53-Man Roster



Steelers OLB Kyron Johnson
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Kyron Johnson in a game against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 16, 2023. -- Ed Thomson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers have promoted linebacker Kyron Johnson from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, the team announced on Friday.

Johnson had played the last three games for the Steelers as a practice squad elevation, and he needed to be called up to the 53-man roster in order to play any more games for the team this season.

The Steelers have been short on special teams player, with injuries forcing players that started the season on special teams like Elandon Roberts into the lineup full-time.

In three games, Johnson played 48 snaps, all on special teams. He did not record any statistics. Johnson has played both inside and outside linebacker in his time in the NFL, and has only the outside linebackers since joining the Steelers.

Johnson was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022 and has 16 games of NFL experience, mostly on special teams, which is where he will likely play for the Steelers.

A freak athlete, Johnson ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at his pro day coming out of Kansas. He backed that up with a 39.5-inch vertical jump, showcasing he is both explosive and fast.

His senior year at Kansas was his best, racking 6.5 sacks and 63 tackles. Over his career, he posted 12.5 sacks, 193 tackles, and 22.5 tackles for loss. Kansas embraced Johnson’s versatility but liked him more as an outside linebacker for most of his tenure. When he joined the Eagles last year, Johnson played off-ball outside linebacker in that 4-3  system.

Philadelphia released Johnson from their practice squad early in September after bringing him back following initial cut-downs. During the preseason, Johnson played 33 total snaps, registering two pressures during those snaps as a pass rusher.

The Steelers also elevated inside linebacker Myles Jack and defensive back Eric Rowe as game day elevations.