PITTSBURGH — Call them Kwon and the kids? The Pittsburgh Steelers started the season with three experienced starting inside linebackers. They might be down to one.
Kwon Alexander led the unit in drills on Thursday under the tutelage of inside linebackers coach Aaron Curry and head coach Mike Tomlin. Behind Alexander were three far less experienced players: Mark Robinson and practice squad linebackers Tariq Carpenter and Mykal Walker.
Cole Holcomb was lost for the season to a knee injury last week against the Tennessee Titans. Elandon Roberts was limited in practice on Wednesday with a knee injury and did not participate in these drills on Thursday.
Robinson was the Steelers’ seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. A former college running back, he played one season of linebacker at Ole Miss before making it to the NFL. He played in four games and made two starts as a rookie last season and has played primarily on special teams so far this year.
Carpenter was a seventh-round pick of the Green Bay Packers last year. He was released this August and signed with the Steelers practice squad. A 6-foot-3, 230-pound Georgia Tech alum, Carpenter played in 14 games for the Packers last season, but saw only 19 snaps on defense.
Walker, 26, has NFL experience but is brand-new to the Steelers. A fourth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2020, Walker played in 49 games and made 20 starts for Atlanta from 2020-22. He was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Bears this August and then was cut and added to the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad before joining the Steelers on Oct. 30.