The Pittsburgh Steelers protected safety Karl Joseph, wide receivers Anthony Miller and Steven Sims and tackle Chaz Green from being signed from their practice squad during Week 11, according to the NFL transactions page from Monday.
Sims was activated from the practice squad for the first time this season in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions. He played five offensive snaps and did not have a target. Sims helped offset the loss of Chase Claypool, who missed the game with a toe injury, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Claypool is expected to return to practice this week and could play against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night.
The Steelers first signed Sims to their practice squad on Sept. 1. He spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Washington Football Team. Miller, the second-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2018, has not been activated since being signed to the Steelers’ practice squad on Oct. 12.
Joseph has been activated from the practice one time this season, when he played two defensive snaps in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos. He is also a candidate for activation this week, with starting free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick already ruled out while on the COVID-19 Reserve List.
Green could also be in line to get a call-up if backup lineman Joe Haeg is again needed at guard. Haeg and J.C. Hassenauer both filled in when starters Kevin Dotson and Trai Turner went down with ankle injuries against the Lions. Turner is expected to return to practice this week and could play against the Chargers. B.J. Finney was not dressed against Detroit, but would probably step ahead of Haeg in the pecking order at guard, leaving Haeg to serve as the first interior backup. Green could then fill in behind Zach Banner as a reserve tackle.
Green was elevated from the practice squad once this season, and played one special teams snap at Green Bay in Week 4. A former third-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys, Green is in his fifth NFL season and has also played with Oakland and Indianapolis. He joined the Steelers early in training camp this summer.
Practice squad players can be called up to the active roster two times and returned to the practice squad without needing to be added to the 53-man roster going up or clearing waivers going down. The third time a team wishes to activate a player, it must clear a roster spot.
The Steelers’ roster is currently at 51 players, with Ben Roethlisberger and Fitzpatrick on the COVID-19 reserve list.