In order to fill out the roster to have enough players for Sunday’s matchup in Kansas City against the Chiefs, the Pittsburgh Steelers have added six players to the roster, bringing their total to 54.
With only six available offensive lineman, the Steelers had to add two more players to get up to the needed eight in order to have 48 players active for the game. The Steelers have activated guard/center J.C. Hassenauer to the 53-man roster as he was previously designated to return from IR. Although Kevin Dotson was also designated return from IR earlier this week, he was not activated to the roster. Instead, Rashaad Coward was elevated from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement.
The Steelers added other COVID-19 replacements for the practice squad in running back Trey Edmunds and linebacker John Simon as well as a standard elevation for newly signed practice squad punter Cameron Nizialek. Steelers also signed punter Corliss Waitman to the 53-man roster from the Patriots practice squad.
Carrying two punters on the active roster, the Steelers were in need at the position after the death of Pressley Harvin‘s father on Christmas morning. Harvin was ruled out for Sunday’s game for personal reasons earlier in the day.
Corliss Waitman spent the 2020 training camp with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie and signed a futures contract following the season but was released with the drafting of Pressley Harvin. Waitman spent parts of training camp with the Las Vegas Raiders before landing on the Patriots’ practice squad in November. As for Cameron Nizialek, he spent the beginning of the 2021 season punting for the Atlanta Falcons where in four games he had 18 punts for 817 yards and a 45.4 average and also had 15 kickoffs for 946 yards and six touch backs.
Whether or not the Steelers have both punters active during the game remains to be seen. Although Nizialek has in-game experience at the position, Waitman was in Steelers camp last year and may hold the edge when it comes to holding on place kicks if the Steelers don’t go with reserve holder Cameron Sutton.
As for the other three players who were called up from the practice squad, Rashaad Coward has appeared in the last two games for the Steelers this season coming up from the practice squad. Running back Trey Edmunds has been with the Steelers for four seasons but has yet to appear in a game in 2021. Linebacker John Simon was a fourth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2013 draft and is in his ninth NFL season between the Ravens, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, and the Tennessee Titans earlier this season.
The Steelers also added receiver Steven Sims to the Practice Squad/COVID-19 List.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Steelers prepare to face the Chiefs in Kansas City this Sunday at 4:25 PM.