The Steelers went for reinforcements on Saturday, signing wide receiver Deon Cain and running back Kerrith Whyte, Jr. to their active roster and waving linebacker Jay Elliott and running back Tony Brooks-James.
The Steelers suffered injuries at both positions on Thursday, with James Conner again suffering a shoulder injury and Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster leaving with concussions.
Cain, in his second pro season out of Clemson, was signed by the Steelers off the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad. He had just been waived on Nov. 9.
The 6-foot-2, 202-pound receiver was the Colts’ sixth round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but tore his ACL in his first preseason game, ending his rookie season. This year, Cain played in seven games and made three starts for Indianapolis, but had just four catches for 52 yards on 14 targets.
Whyte, a rookie out of Florida Atlantic, was signed from the Chicago Bears’ practice squad. He was the Bears’ seventh-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, but was released at the end of the preseason. In four preseason games, he had 18 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Brooks-James, a rookie out of Oregon, played in his third game with the Steelers on Thursday night and had one carry for a 4-yard loss against the Cleveland Browns. He had six carries for 11 yards on Nov. 10 against the Los Angeles Rams. Brooks-James also returned two kickoffs for 32 yards on Thursday.
Elliott played in his fifth game for the Steelers in Thursday’s loss to the Browns. Signed earlier in the day on Thursday, Elliott received eight defensive snaps and 20 special teams snaps after not practicing all week. He was on his fourth stint with the team this season.
The Steelers will still be short at outside linebacker, as Anthony Chickillo (rib cartilage) did not play on Thursday and Ola Adeniyi left the game with a concussion.
The Steelers’ 53-man roster is full after the transactions. The team does have a vacant spot on its practice squad after promoting wide receiver Tevin Jones on Thursday.