The Pittsburgh Steelers are using a new rule with the most recent collective bargaining agreement signed in March where up to two practice squad players could be elevated to the active roster each week without displacing another player. So far in 2020, the Steelers have only used this new rule once to elevate running back Trey Edmunds from the practice squad to the active roster for Week 5. Having to give the player a weekly salary of an active roster player, being selective of when to use this rule has been a wise move.
With Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson ruled out for Sunday’s game, the Steelers have chosen to elevate Deon Cain from the practice squad to the active roster for Week 6. After the game, Cain will revert back to the Steelers practice squad. This per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor:
With Diontae Johnson out for Sunday’s game, the Steelers have elevated WR Deon Cain from the practice squad.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) October 17, 2020
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL draft for the Indianapolis Colts, Cain spent the 2018 season on the Reserve/Injured List. After appearing in seven games for the Colts in 2019, the last of which was against the Steelers at Heinz Field, Cain was cut and added to the Colts’ practice squad. Less than a week later, the Steelers signed Cain to their active roster ahead of their Week 12 game against the Cincinnati Bengals and he was active for the remainder of the 2019 season. In six games, Cain had five receptions for 72 yards for the Steelers. During his time with the Colts, Cain had four receptions for 52 yards.
Being elevated from the Steelers practice squad, Cain looks to see snaps at wide receiver against the Browns on Sunday. If so, it will be his first NFL action catching passes from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the Steelers prepare to take on the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on Sunday at 1 PM.