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.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/18/20
James Conner tested out his injured ankle and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Chase Claypool during practice on Friday, September 18, 2020.
This practice was in preparation for the Steelers week 2 game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
Cam Heyward Named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has been named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1.
Heyward was honored for installing his first Little Free Library, a book-sharing box placed in underserved communities around the Pittsburgh area.
Congrats to @camheyward on being named Week 1 #CommunityMVP for installing his first Little Free Library. The book-sharing boxes provide 24-7 access to literacy for underserved Pittsburgh communities while honoring the legacy in education of his late grandfather. pic.twitter.com/uKwbnz28A1— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 18, 2020
Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”
The installation of the book-sharing boxes marks the launch of the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project, a new initiative of the Cameron Heyward Foundation that will work to promote children’s literacy and honor his late grandparents, both of whom were lifelong educators in Pittsburgh.
Drafted in first round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Heyward has spend his entire career in Pittsburgh. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, and has twice received First-Team All-Pro honors.
Heyward and the Steelers agreed to a four-year, $71.4 million contract extension on Sept. 6 that will allow him to retire in Pittsburgh and make him the highest-paid defense player over the age of 30 in NFL history.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/17/20
The Steelers finally experienced a practice with almost everyone on the roster able to take the field. Only two players did not take part in practice before their week 2 game against Denver.
Alex Highsmith and Minkah Fitzpatrick stood out from the rest on Thursday, September 17, 2020.