The Steelers are set to cut their roster down to 53 players by 4 PM Saturday, and the next task will be forming their 11-man practice squad once players clear waivers Sunday at noon. While the makeup of the squad will become much more clear after the roster is announced, I’ll go ahead and throw out the prediction ahead of time. Fair warning: there will be an update once the roster has been announced and the exact positions come into focus. The players chosen will be based on my 53-man roster prediction which can be seen HERE.
As for the makeup of who the Steelers will look to sign on Sunday, the Steelers have a general idea of how many players they want at a given position in total between the active roster and the practice squad. These 11 positions are not simply for the Steelers to try to hide players away from other teams, but they serve a specific purpose in preparation each week. Case in point, from what I have been able to research, the Steelers have not kept a quarterback on the practice squad for the season since 2000, and it was their third QB. Additionally, the Steelers have not kept a kicker or punter in the Kevin Colbert era. So when making determinations as to the makeup of the squad, position variety will be important.
Projected 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Practice Squad
- Diontae Spencer, WR
- Trey Griffey, WR
- Trey Edmunds, RB
- Christian Scotland-Williamson, TE (IPP exemption)
- Kevin Rader, TE
- Jerald Hawkins, OL
- Derwin Gray, OL
- Henry Mondeaux, DL
- Sutton Smith, OLB
- Robert Spillane, ILB
- Marcus Allen, S
If the Steelers choose to keep one fewer player than normal from a given position on the 53-man roster, they will most likely need to add someone else to the practice squad. For example, if the Steelers only keep five defensive linemen, look for them to keep two on the practice squad.
Currently Kevin Rader is included, but if the Steelers make a move at tight end I would have Zach Gentry take his spot if he were not on the active roster. Right now the “luxary” players would be Smith and Spillane as I currently have the Steelers keeping five players on the 53 at each position plus one one on the practice squad.
As for wide receiver, I believe the final spot on the 53-man roster is between Eli Rogers and Johnny Holton. Although I currently have Rogers on the team, I believe Holton could very well make the jump onto the roster due to his special teams play. If he does not, I’m not sure the Steelers bother to keep him on the practice squad. For the record, Rogers is no longer eligible for practice squad. A complete list of players from the Steelers preseason roster who are practice-squad eligible can be seen HERE.
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