The Pittsburgh Steelers have been bitten by the injury bug, and the team’s pass rushing depth is being tested. The groin injury to T.J. Watt was public knowledge, but on Tuesday Mike Tomlin told reporters Alex Highsmith was suffering from his own groin injury which could hinder his ability to practice leading up to the team’s Week 3 game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.
With Watt and Highsmith both banged up, the Steelers decided to make a move. After placing Tyson Alualu on Injured Reserve (IR), they promoted Henry Mondeaux to their active roster. This vacated a spot on the team’s 16-man practice squad. The team filled that vacancy with pass rusher Taco Charlton.
We have signed DE Taco Charlton to the practice squad.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 21, 2021
Will the addition of Charlton equate in the injury to Watt being more serious than once thought? That might be a little premature at this juncture. The team could be wanting someone with more experience available as their third pass rusher if Watt is unable to play.
In other words, someone other than Jamir Jones to spell either Alex Highsmith or Melvin Ingram, especially if Watt can’t go.
Don’t know much about Charlton?
Taco Charlton was the 28th overall selection of the 2017 NFL Draft for the Dallas Cowboys. Most notably, Charlton was selected two spots before the Steelers drafted T.J. Watt. Only lasting two seasons with the Cowboys, Charlton appeared in 27 games with seven starts and only had 4.0 sacks with Dallas. In 2019, Charlton was waived by the Cowboys early in the season and claimed by the Miami Dolphins. Charlton started five games, appearing in 10, with Miami and had 5.0 sacks on the season. Signed by Kansas City after the 2020 NFL Draft, Charlton appeared in seven games with the Chiefs and had 2.0 sacks and no starts while only playing 90 snaps. Charlton was released by Kansas City during training Camp this offseason.
The addition of Charlton at least gives them a veteran presence on the outside, while they wait to see if Highsmith or Watt will be available Sunday. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday at Heinz Field.