It appears as if the Steelers Week 2 opponent is adding a familiar face to take on the black and gold on Sunday at 1 PM. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Denver is signing former Steelers outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo who was on the New Orleans Saints practice squad.
Broncos are signing linebacker Anthony Chickillo off of the Saints’ practice squad, per @RosenhausSports.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2020
Chickillo was released by the Steelers prior to the start of the 2020 NFL league. The move saved the Steelers $5 million towards the salary cap.
After signing a two-year, $8 million contract prior to the 2019 season, Chickillo had a disappointing year. Between injuries and legal issues stemming from an incident at the Lady Luck Casino at Nemacolin, Chickillo only appeared in 11 games in 2019. Not only did Chickillo not play as many games, his production continued to decrease as he only registered 0.5 sacks and 19 tackles while playing 143 defensive snaps as the primary reserve outside linebacker.
Chickillo signed with the New Orleans Saints for 2020 training camp but failed to make the 53-man roster. The Saints added Chickillo to their 16-man practice squad as one of the six veteran players allowed this season.
Denver was in desperate need to add depth to the outside linebacker positions. Currently, the team only has three players active in Jeremiah Attaochu, Bradley Chubb, and Malik Reed. With Chubb coming off of ACL surgery, his snaps have been limited for the Broncos to beign 2020. Additionally, Denver’s All-Pro Von Miller is currently on the team’s Reserve/Injured List.
By signing Chickillo off of another teams practice squad, he will be required to be on the Broncos’ roster for at least three weeks.
While some may believe the Broncos signed Chickillo mainly because he was familiar with the Steelers, the notion of adding the best player possible into the rotation would be a more likely reason. There is already plenty of familiarity with the Steelers as Denvers offensive line coach Mike Munchak left the Steelers for Denver after the 2018 season. The Broncos also have former Steelers inside linebacker Mark Barron and tight end Nick Vannett.
Stay tuned to BTSC for all your updates as the Steelers continue to prepare for their Week 2 matchup against the Denver Broncos.