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Will Justin Hunter finally become more than just an outstanding practice player?

Can the journeyman wide receiver finally show up on game days?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers Jim Matthews-USA TODAY Sports

When the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Justin Hunter as a free agent prior to the 2017 season, not many fans gave it much credence. After all, the journeyman receiver had yet to show anything of substance at the NFL level, and he had the look of nothing more than an insurance policy if someone were to go down with an injury.

Then came the team’s training camp, and the Ben Roethlisberger to Justin Hunter connection was all anyone was talking about. While Martavis Bryant awaited word from the NFL when he would be reinstated, Roethlisberger was finding Hunter, and Hunter was making some ridiculous catches.

What took place after training camp was Hunter made the 53-man roster, but hardly played once Bryant re-joined the team. As you know, Bryant is now gone, and Hunter seems to have picked up where he left off regarding his crazy catches during the team’s Organized Team Activities (OTAs).

Will Hunter ever become more than a great practice player for the black-and-gold?

“I need every one of [these reps],” Hunter told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “It gives me another op to show what I’ve got against the first team. As long as I keep it consistently, I’ll be straight.”

There is a spot for him on the team, if he can claim it, and Ben Roethlisberger outlined just what he needs to do in order to stake his claim on the wide receiver depth chart.

“Ben just says, ‘If I’m going to throw it to you, make a play for me,’” Hunter said.

Last year Hunter corralled just four catches for 23 yards and a touchdown, but it doesn’t mean he can’t produce more with Bryant gone. In fact, when you look at the team’s depth chart at receiver there is no reason why Hunter shouldn’t have a legitimate shot to make the team. Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington could be considered the locks to make the team, but other than the remaining spot(s) on the roster is up for grabs.

Will Hunter be able to break through and finally turn his practice performances into game day performances? Or will he continue his journey with another NFL team in 2018? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.