A story which broke late Wednesday night, Steelers defensive tackle Lavon Hooks reportedly suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Wednesday’s practice. The story was first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
#Steelers DL Lavon Hooks suffered an Achilles injury in practice and is out for the season, source said. Tough deal for a guy who’s worked so hard to get his shot.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 22, 2019
The news of Hook’s injury was corroborated by Mark Kaboly of The Athletic which offered one additional detail to the injury.
An undrafted rookie in 2015, Hooks played his final two years of college for Ole Miss after two seasons at Northeast Mississippi Community College. In 24 games for the Rebels, Hooks tallied 27 tackles and three sacks. Originally signed by Green Bay in May of 2015, Hooks was waived by the Packers during final roster cuts and was not signed again by any NFL team for the remainder of his first season.
Hooks signed with the Steelers in February 2016 and was with the team through training camp. On the day of roster cut-downs, Hooks was once again released and was not signed to the practice squad in 2016. Signing once again with the Steelers for 2017, Hooks did land on the Steelers practice squad where he spent all of the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
While Hooks still has one year of practice squad eligibility remaining, he had been mentioned as a possible sleeper to make the 53-man roster in 2019. With the departure of L.T. Walton and the sparse production of Daniel McCullers, Hooks and rookie Isaiah Buggs entered training camp as the top two non-returning candidates to fill out the Steelers’ depth chart on the defensive line.
Hooks had yet to make the most of his opportunity in 2019 as he had only one tackle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and did not register any statistics against the Kansas City Chiefs. The high point of Hooks career to date was in Week 3 of the 2018 preseason against the Tennessee Titans when he registered three tackles and a sack. In 2017, Hooks had five tackles in the preseason finally, a performance which may have earned his spot on the practice squad.
Hooks will most likely end up on Injured Reserve for the Steelers rather than Waived/Injured since the injury is season ending. The Steelers will undoubtedly make a roster move on Thursday in order to add a new player in preparation for Sunday night’s game.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtian for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for Week 3 of the NFL preseason.