The Pittsburgh Steelers have finished the week of practice and are preparing for their home opener against the Denver Broncos on Sunday at 1 PM in front of an empty stadium at Heinz Field. To fill out their roster ahead of the game, the Steelers have added offensive tackle Brandon Walton to their 16-man practice squad.
We've added Brandon Walton to the practice squad (T - Florida Atlantic)— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 19, 2020
Walton came in for a workout with the Steelers on Tuesday due to their open practice squad spot vacated when Curtis Riley was signed by the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers ended up filling Riley’s spot with safety John Battle who spent training camp with the Steelers. But when Stefen Wisniewski was placed on the Reserve/Injured List and Derwin Gray was promoted to the 53 man roster, the Steelers had another practice squad position to be filled. Ultimately, the Steelers went with Walton who played collegiately for Florida Atlantic and spent the preseason with the Buffalo Bills. It was also reported Walton had a workout with the Kansas City Chiefs last Saturday.
Some fans may ask why the Steelers made a move with the practice squad when there are no more practices remaining before their next game. This was actually an important move when it comes to the practice squad for 2021. If a team does not have a full roster each week of the NFL season, they are not permitted to have players who are on their final year of practice squad eligibility the following season. This rule is in place for teams looking for a way to save money by not filling all their spots, specifically as it pertains to the end of the season. Although there are 6 veteran spots on each NFL team’s practice squad which means teams who didn’t follow the rule in 2019 would still have somewhat of an out, the inclusion of players with an unlimited amount of accrued seasons is a rule specific to 2020.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for all your Steelers news leading up to kick off, throughout the Steelers Week 2 match up against the Denver Broncos, and all the post game analysis.