The Steelers waived defensive back Antoine Brooks Jr. from the injured reserve list with an injury settlement, according to the NFL transactions page from Tuesday.
Brooks, who was waived with an injury designation on Aug. 24, has already cleared waivers once, this offseason, at which point, he reverted to the Steelers’ injured reserve list.
Teams and players on the injured reserve list can reach an injury settlement, where the team pays the player for the number of weeks his is expected to miss, and then he is a free agent that is free to sign with any team once healthy.
While other teams can sign him at that point, the Steelers will not be able to re-sign Brooks until three weeks after the end of his injury settlement period, down from six weeks as part of the NFL’s COVID-19 rules changes. The number of weeks the player and team agreed to settle on is not typically made public.
If the Steelers had not agreed to an injury settlement with Brooks, he would have been forced to spend the entire season on the team’s injured reserve list.
Brooks suffered a left hamstring injury and missed most of the final two weeks of training camp, after having started out as the team’s first option to replace Mike Hilton as Nickel cornerback.
It appears the Steelers will instead go with Cam Sutton as the slot corner, moving him inside for James Pierre when they put five defensive backs on the field.