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Steelers Release OLB Ryan Anderson, Making Room for T.J. Watt on Roster

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Steelers OLB Ryan Anderson

The Pittsburgh Steelers released outside linebacker Ryan Anderson from their 53-man roster on Tuesday, clearing a space for what seems to be the inevitable addition of T.J. Watt to the active roster.

Anderson originally joined the Steelers practice squad on Sept. 13 and was promoted to the active roster on Oct. 8. He played in five games for the Steelers, recording one tackle against the Miami Dolphins in Week 7. 

Anderson played exclusively on defense for the Steelers, and with Watt likely returning to the lineup, the ability of fellow backup linebacker Jamir Jones to play on special teams likely contributed to him remaining on the roster while Anderson was released.

The 28-year-old spent four seasons playing for Washington from 2017-20 after first joining the Redskins as a second-round draft pick out of Alabama in 2017.

He never quite lived up to that draft billing, only working as a starter for four games in place of an injured Ryan Kerrigan in 2020. Anderson had six sacks in 52 games in his Washington career, which was cut short due to an injury in 2020.

The following season, Anderson signed with the New York Giants on a one-year deal, but things went downhill from there. He was suspended for the first six games of the season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy, cut by the Giants two days later and did not return to the NFL until being acquired by the Steelers earlier this season.

While the release of Anderson will make room for Watt on the active roster, the Steelers will also need to clear space to add Damontae Kazee to the 53-man roster from the practice squad as well this week.

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