UNITY TWP., Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a serious shakeup of their running back room early into training camp, and that includes the release of second-year back Jason Huntley, which the team announced on Tuesday.
Huntley, 25, joined the Steelers at the end of training camp in 2022, being signed to the practice squad on Sept. 2. He we released to make room for cornerback help, but ended up being brought back for the 2023 season without playing in a game.
The 5-foot-9, 195-pound New Mexico State alum was originally a fifth-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2020. He was cut by the Lions before the start of the regular season, but caught on with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he stayed until being released at the end of training camp last season.
Huntley played five games with the Eagles in 2020 and one in 2021, rushing a total of 18 times for 70 yards and no touchdowns.
The move is the latest in a series for the Steelers at the position. Rookie fullback Monte Pottebaum announced his decision to retire on Monday, the same day the Steelers got word that rookie undrafted free agent Alfonzo Graham is expected to miss the entire 2023 season.
On Monday, the club hosted four running backs for tryouts, and signed two of them, ex-Penn State running back John Lovett and former Detroit Lions rusher Greg Bell III. The team had one open spot on its 90-man roster thanks to Pottebaum’s release, but needed to clear another. Instead of placing Graham on the injured reserve list, the team opted to release Huntley.
The team’s depth chart at running back will now have starter Najee Harris, backup Jaylen Warren and third-teamer Anthony McFarland followed by rookie free agent Darius Hagans, Bell and Lovett, with one-third of the position group turning over since the start of training camp.
After an off day Monday, the Steelers will return to action at St. Vincent College on Tuesday afternoon for their first practice in full pads. The action is scheduled to start at 1:55 p.m.