The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to add to their 2021 offseason roster, this time signing running back Kelen Ballage and offensive lineman Rashaad Coward to one-year deals.
The signing of Coward had previously been reported and has now been confirmed by the Steelers.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft, Ballage spent two seasons in Miami where he appeared in 24 games while starting six. After rushing for 191 yards on 36 carries with one touchdown his rookie season, Ballage got an increase in rushes while decreasing his yardage in his second season. With 74 carries for 135 yards and three touchdowns, Ballage averaged less than 2 yards a carry his second season with the Dolphins before landing on injured reserve in December.
Traded to the New York Jets at the end of training camp in 2020, Ballage appeared in three games in Week 2 through Week 4 where he had three carries for 13 yards.
Released by the Jets following their Week 4 game, Ballage landed on the Chargers practice squad. After being elevated once for Week 9, Ballage was signed to the active roster prior to the Chargers Week 10 matchup and stayed on the 53-man roster for the remainder of the season. In eight games with the Chargers, Ballage started two games and had 88 carries for 290 yards and three touchdowns along with 20 receptions for 99 yards.
The financials for Ballage contract have not been reported at this time.
Exactly where Ballage falls on the running back depth chart for the Steelers remains to be seen. With the team needing to improve their running game as they finished dead last in the NFL in rushing in 2020, having more options than roster positions is not a bad philosophy going into the 2021 season.
With Ballage being a bit of a journeyman in his short NFL career, it is doubtful this signing will impact the Steelers need to continue to add to the running back position either in free agency or the NFL draft.
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