The Steelers have signed former North Dakota State tight end Noah Gindorff to their practice squad following a flurry of moves, the team announced on Wednesday. Pittsburgh also promoted tight end Rodney Williams to the active roster and signed wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick back to the team’s practice squad. Those shifts at tight end come after Pat Freiermuth’s hamstring injury, where he is expected to miss a few weeks with the injury, including Pittsburgh’s game against the Ravens.
Gindorff is a 6-foot-6, 263-pound rookie from North Dakota State. He originally signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent, but was released on Aug. 17.
In his five seasons in Fargo, Gindorff was part of three championship teams with the Bison in 2018, 2019 and 2021. A leg injury limited him to two games as a senior in 2022. He was an FCS All-American in 2021, when he made 17 catches for 193 yards and two touchdowns while the Bison went on to win a national title.
Because of his injury, Gindorff did not participate in athletic testing in the pre-draft process. The Steelers scouted him in person three times, at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, the 2023 NFL Combine, and sent director of college scouting Dan Colbert to his pro day at NDSU.
Gindorff is regarded as a premier blocking tight end but a below-average receiver. He does have one thing the Steelers always love to see: NFL bloodlines. His father, Mike Gindorff, spent time as a defensive tackle with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings in the early 1990s.
Pittsburgh now has five tight ends on their depth chart and throughout the roster, but Freiermuth’s injury shrinks that to four. Expect Williams to play a significant role on special teams while also helping the team out against a physical Baltimore Ravens group. Darnell Washington and Connor Heyward are slated for more playing time.