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Steelers Sign Linebacker after Two Injuries Friday



Steelers Forrest Rhyne

UNITY TWP., Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Forrest Rhyne after suffering two injuries at the position during the team’s preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday.

Rhyne, 24, is a Waynesboro, Pennsylvania native. He spent the 2022 season with the Colts after joining Indy as an undrafted free agent out of Villanova last spring.

He was among Indianapolis’ final cuts coming out of training camp last August, but was re-signed to the practice squad, from which he was elevated to the active roster three times, including against the Steelers in Week 12.

Rhyne played 10 snaps against the Steelers, all on special teams, then played 18 snaps in Week 13 against the Dallas Cowboys and 20 snaps against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15, all on special teams. He finished the season with one tackle.

The Colts re-signed Rhyne to a reserve/future contract for the 2023 season this January, but he was waived on May 4.

The 6-foot-1, 233-pound linebacker spent five collegiate seasons with Villanova, where he was a three-time All-CAA selection. In 2021, he was CAA Defensive Player of the Year and an FCS All-American after recording 152 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 13 games.

The Steelers suffered a pair of injuries at linebacker in the preseason opener on Friday, with both Chapelle Russell II (knee) and Nick Kwiatkoski (shoulder) going down. Head coach Mike Tomlin has not given a prognosis for either player. Russell was waived with an injury designation in order to make room for Rhyne on the roster.