Pittsburgh Steelers are trying out outside linebacker Ryan Anderson on Tuesday as a potential replacement for T.J. Watt, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Anderson, 28, 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, Andersons 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.
With Watt expected to miss at least a month with his torn pectoral muscle, the Steelers can place him on short-term injured reserve and replace him on the roster. In addition to signing some off the street like Anderson, the team could also activate Delontae Scott from the practice squad.
Malik Reed is expected to replace Watt in the starting lineup. The former Denver Broncos edge rusher has 34 starts under his belt while playing alongside Von Miller, so it seems likely that the Steelers primary need at this point is rotational depth, and not someone to come in and start games.
Alex Highsmith will continue to man the right outside linebacker position and Jamir Jones will continue to provide depth to the unit.
The Steelers are off on Tuesday and will begin preparing for their Week 2 opponent, the New England Patriots, on Wednesday.