With less than week remaining until the NFL teams have to make their final roster cuts by 4 PM this Saturday, there will be several players taking the field for their last game Thursday night for the Steelers. While some players may be fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster, other’s are hoping to impress any NFL team with their in-stadium play in order to find their way onto any practice squad. Additionally, the Steelers have been choosing most of the players for their 11-man practice squad from their own preseason roster. So which players currently with the Steelers are still eligible for the practice squad?
I outlined the rules behind practice squad eligibility extensively in and article last week which can be seen HERE. In summary, and player with less than three accrued season and less than three previous years on an NFL practice squad are eligible. Practice squads can have a maximum of four players who have an NFL season where they were on the active game-day roster at least nine times in a season. These players will be noted with a “+” following their name.
Before getting into the list, there are three players who have some unusual circumstances I would like to explain:
Johnny Holton- On the Raiders active roster in 2016 and 2017, Holton spent all but one game on the practice squad last season. Although he has three years total, he only has two accrued seasons and year lost of practice squad eligibility.
Mike Hilton- While he spent time on both the Patriots and Steelers practice squads in 2016, his total time was not enough to count against him for the year. So even though he has two accrued seasons, Hilton currently has three more years of practice squad eligibility going into 2019.
Jordan Dangerfield- This situation might be the trickiest of all. Dangerfield didn’t make any NFL team or practice squad in 2013 before joining the Steelers before the 2014 season. Originally cut to start the season, Dangerfield was not signed to the practice squad until just before game 10 of 2014. Dangerfield did not use a year of practice squad eligibility because the Steelers promoted him to the active roster for the final three games. Therefore Dangerfield did not use an accrued year or a year on the practice squad. With practice squad years of 2015 and 2017, Dangerfeld accrued years in 2016 with 14 games and 2018 with all 16 games. Therefore Dangerfield has one more year of practice squad eligibility remaining.
Joshua Dobbs+, Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges
Running Back (6)
James Conner+, Jaylen Samuels+, Benny Snell Jr, Trey Edmunds+, Malik Williams, Travon McMillian
Wide Receiver (9)
JuJu Smith-Schuster+, James Washington+, Diontae Johnson, Ryan Switzer+, Trey Griffey, Johnny Holton+, Tevin Jones, Diontae Spencer, Brandon Reilly
Tight End (5)
Zach Gentry, Kevin Rader, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Trevor Wood, Mickey Crum
Offensive Line (9)
Chukwuma Okorafor+, Jerald Hawkins, Zach Banner, Derwin Gray, Damian Prince, Patrick Morris, J.C. Hassenauer, Garrett Brumfield, Fred Johnson
Defensive Line (6)
Isaiah Buggs, Conor Sheehy, Winston Craig, Casey Sayles, Greg Gilmore, Henry Mondeaux
Outside Linebacker (6)
T.J. Watt+, Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, Sutton Smith, Tuzar Skipper, Christian Kuntz, Jayrone Elliott
Inside Linebacker (4)
Devin Bush, Ulysees Gilbert III, Robert Spillane, Tegray Scales
Mike Hilton+, Jordan Dangerfield+, Cameron Sutton+, Justin Layne, Brian Allen+, Marcelis Branch, Trevon Mathis, Jhavonte Dean
Terrell Edmunds+, Marcus Allen, Kam Kelly, Dravon Askew-Henry, P.J. Locke
Mathew Wright, Ian Berryman, Kameron Canaday+
I think it’s safe to say at least 20 of these players will be on the Steelers’ 53-man roster come Saturday evening. The better question is, other than Christian Scotland-Williamson who receives an extra spot due to the International Pathway Program, which 10 players can you see the Steelers keeping on their practice squad? Feel free to give your thoughts in the comments below.