The Pittsburgh Steelers needed help at the outside linebacker position in a big way. When you look at their depth chart, it didn’t take a genius to know they would be on the look out for someone who could help add proven depth at the position prior to the start of the 2021 regular season.
After the release of David DeCastro, the team had some cap space to make some moves. The Steelers had talks with Justin Houston, but they went nowhere. Then they hosted former Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram, and, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the two parties signed a one-year contract.
Melvin Ingram was the first-round selection of the then San Diego Chargers in the 2012 NFL draft. Selected in the 18th position, Ingram has played nine seasons with the Chargers from 2012 through 2020. Earning Pro Bowl selections three straight seasons from 2017 through 2019, Ingram had a rough 2020 where he only appeared in seven games. For his career, Ingram has 49.0 sacks where he had two seasons of double-digit sacks in 2015 and 2017 with 10.5 each season.
Ingram is a player who has had his share of injury troubles in recent years. In 2013 Ingram tore an ACL in his knee, in 2014 he had a tear in his hip joint, in 2019 he had a severe hamstring injury and in 2020 he injured his patellar tendon. Some of those injuries put Ingram on the shelf for just a few weeks, while others ended his season.
With Ingram now in the mix, you would think the Steelers’ depth chart would look something like this heading into training camp:
This depth chart is drastically better than it was just 24 hours ago, and if Ingram can stay healthy it could be a tremendous unit. If Ingram isn’t asked to be an every down pass rusher, and just spell Highsmith and/or Watt, he could not just stay healthy but be extremely impactful when called upon.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they report to Training Camp at the end of this week, and prepare for the 2021 regular season.
Check out the breaking news podcast from BTSC editor Dave Schofield below: