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Steelers make 4 roster moves, including Ray-Ray McCloud on Reserve/COVID List

The Pittsburgh Steelers are making a series of moves leading up to the Week 12 game vs. the Bengals.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a flurry of roster moves on Tuesday afternoon. Dealing with everything from the Reserve/COVID-19 List to players on and off the practice squad, the Steelers have made transactions involving five different players. Wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List and tight end Kevin Rader has been promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. The Steelers have also made two additional practice squad signings of guard Rashaad Coward and tight and Jace Sternberger while releasing quarterback James Morgan.

With Ben Roethlisberger recently coming off the Reserve/COVID-19 List and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick yet to come out of the list, wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud is the latest Steelers player dealing with a Covid issue. It has not been reported at this time if McCloud landed on the list due to a positive test or if he was deemed a close contact. On the season, McCloud has 19 receptions for 141 yards, but is more noted for his being the main kick returner for the Steelers. On the season, McCloud has 503 kickoff return yards on 21 returns for a 24.0 average while having 194 punt return yards on 22 returns with an 8.8 yard average.

The Steelers have signed tight end Kevin Rader to the 53-man roster in a move many see as an indication of the severity level of the injury to Eric Ebron‘s knee. It has been reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Ebron is expected to miss significant time.

Rader was elevated off the Steelers practice squad in Week 9 while Eric Ebron was out where he only saw one offensive snap where he had one reception for 1 yard. Rader appeared for the Steelers last season in Week 17 as well as the Steelers Wild Card game.

Coming back to the Steelers in the 2021 season is guard Rashaad Coward who spent training camp with the Steelers. On the Steelers active roster through Week 4, Coward was inactive for every game for the Steelers. Signed by the Jaguars following his release from the Steelers, Coward only lasted a week in Jacksonville before he was released.

Tight end Jace Sternberger was a third-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2019 NFL draft. Sternberger appeared in 18 games for the Packers through the 2020 season where he had 12 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown during the regular season as well as three receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown in the postseason. Sternberger was released in September by the Packers after serving a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. After stints with the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Football Team, Sternberger has been a free agent since the beginning of November.

To make room on the practice squad, the Steelers released quarterback James Morgan who was assigned to the practice squad last week. With Ben Roethlisberger on the COVID-19 list, Morgan was brought in to have another quarterback handle scout team duties so the Steelers could prepare both Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins throughout the week of practice.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to take on the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.