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Steelers make a number of roster moves coming out of the bye week

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a series of roster moves prior to their Week 8 game vs. the Cleveland Browns.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back to work coming out of the bye week with their regular weekly routine as they prepare to take the practice field on Wednesday in preparation to face the Cleveland Browns in Week 8. Ahead of practice, the Steelers have made several roster moves in order to help prepare for the upcoming matchup.

The activation of Anthony McFarland Jr. to the 53-man roster is of little surprise after Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin alluded to the situation in his press conference on Tuesday.

“I’m anticipating us activating him,” Tomlin said. “I think the week’s work will determine if there’s a role and, if there is, what that role is.”

McFarland returns to the Steelers after missing the first six games of his second season. As a rookie, McFarland appeared in 11 games for the Steelers were he had 113 rushing yards on 33 attempts along with six receptions for 54 yards.

In order to make room on the 53-man roster for McFarland, the Steelers finally placed defensive tackle Carlos Davis on the Reserve/Injured List. Missing the last five games, yet still taking up a roster spot, Davis will not be eligible to return until the Steelers’ Week 11 matchup in Los Angeles against the Chargers.

Due to gaining a running back and losing a defensive tackle on the active roster, the Steelers have made two corresponding moves to their practice squad in order to balance out their numbers. The Steelers have signed defensive tackle Chris Slayton to the practice squad. Coming out of Syracuse, Slayton was a seventh-round draft pick of the New York Giants in the 2019 NFL draft. Failing to make the Giants’ roster, Slayton spent the 2019 season or the Giants’ practice squad. In 2020, Slayton spent a short time on the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills before landing with the practice squad of the Atlanta Falcons where he spent the 2021 offseason.

To make room for Slayton, the Steelers released running back Jaylen Samuels from the practice squad. Drafted it in the fifth round by the Steelers in the 2018 NFL draft, Samuels appeared in 42 games in three seasons and had eight starts. In his Steelers career, Samuels had one rushing touchdown and for receiving touchdowns. The highlight of Samuels’ time with the Steelers came in 2018 when he started for an injured James Connor against the New England Patriots and rushed for 142 yards on 19 rushing attempts.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to take on the Browns this Sunday in Cleveland at 1 PM.