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Steelers reportedly adding a defensive tackle to fill out their practice squad

The Pittsburgh Steelers had an opening on their practice squad, and they are filling it with a defensive lineman.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars-Training Camp Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

When the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to sign pass rusher Derrek Tuszka to their 53-man roster, the hope was they would be able to get Jamir Jones to clear waivers and add him to their 16-man practice squad. However, for the second time this season the Steelers were burned by the waiver wire and the Los Angeles Rams signed Jones to their practice squad.

The first time they were unable to retain a player was when 6th round draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft Quincy Roche was signed by the New York Giants when the Steelers trimmed their roster to 53 players.

When Jones didn’t sign to the practice squad, it left an opening on the 16-player practice squad. The Steelers are filling that vacancy with Eli Ankou, per Aaron Wilson.

Eli Ankou went undrafted in 2017 out of UCLA and was signed by the Houston Texans. After failing to make the 53-man roster, Ankou was claimed off waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars where he appeared in nine games his rookie season registering 1.5 sacks, 15 tackles, and two quarterback hits. After appearing in only two games in 2018, Ankou did not make the Jaguars 53-man roster in 2019, but was signed to the practice squad. Poached in October by the Cleveland Browns, Ankou appeared in nine games and started two in Cleveland.

In 2020, Ankou did not make the Browns 53-man roster, but was claimed off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts. Failing to appear in a game, Ankou was waived in October to be claimed once again by the Houston Texans. Two weeks later, the Texans traded Ankou to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2022 7th-round draft pick. Appearing in seven games in Dallas, Ankou had five tackles.

Since the 2020 season, Ankou has spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills and appeared in two preseason games for the Falcons.

Ankou will be an insurance policy along the defensive line if the team suffers another injury at the position. It also should be worth keeping an eye on Carlos Davis’ knee injury. Davis hasn’t practiced in two weeks, and could be a player who ends up on Injured Reserve (IR) if the injury doesn’t improve quickly.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Denver Broncos in Week 5 of the 2021 regular season.