The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed veteran outside linebacker John Simon to their practice squad, the team announced on Monday.
Simon, 31, is in his ninth NFL season. He has played in 99 NFL games and was the starter at right defensive end for the New England Patriots in 2019 and 2020 and was a key reserve when New England won Super Bowl LIII after the 2018 season.
Simon signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason, but was released on Aug. 29. He spent most of the season on Tennessee’s practice squad, with two call-ups to the active roster on Oct. 10 against Jacksonville and Nov. 29 against his former club in New England. He has six tackles and one quarterback hit in two games.
The Steelers lost both starting outside linebackers to injury on Thursday night in Minnesota, with T.J. Watt suffering a groin injury and Alex Highsmith a quad bruise. That left Taco Charlton and Derrek Tuszka as the only available outside linebackers to finish the game.
Delontae Scott and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner are also on the practice squad. Scott has played one game for Pittsburgh this season.
A Youngstown, Ohio native, Simon was originally a fourth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens out of Ohio State in 2013. He didn’t make the team his rookie season and was signed by the Houston Texans, where he spent two season. Simon then signed a three-year free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts in 2017, but was suffered a shoulder injury that season and was released the following year before landing in New England.
He has 283 career tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 21 sacks, 54 quarterback hits, 11 passes defended, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions and one defensive touchdown.