The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed outside linebacker Ryan Anderson and tight end Rodney Williams to their practice squad, the team announced on Tuesday.
The team worked out Anderson on Tuesday before signing him. 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 has not returned to an NFL locker room since.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said that the team needed an outside addition for practice this week after losing starting outside linebacker T.J. Watt to a pectoral injury. Malik Reed will replace Watt in the starting lineup, with Jamie Jones serving as depth and Delontae Scott and Anderson options to be elevated from the practice squad.
Williams had been with the Denver Broncos in training camp and was waived on Aug. 16. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound tight end is a UT-Martin alum, where he was an FCS All-American with the Skyhawks. He had 29 catches for 417 yards and two touchdowns in 2021.
Williams will replace Justin Rigg as the team’s practice squad tight end.
To make room for Anderson, the Steelers released practice squad wide receiver Jaquarri Roberson.