The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to tweak their practice squad ahead of their Week 6 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dealing with a number of injuries in the defensive secondary, the Steelers have added cornerback Duke Dawson to the practice squad.
Dawson was a second-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2018 out of Florida. Dealing with a hamstring injury as a rookie, Dawson spent the first half of the season on the Reserve/Injured List (IR). After returning to the roster, Dawson was not active for any games during his rookie season.
In a quick pivot by the Patriots, Dawson was traded to the Denver Broncos with a seventh-round draft pick in return for a six-round draft pick at the end of training camp in 2019. Dawson appeared in 14 games with three starts for the Broncos in 2019 where he had two passes defensed, a fumble recovery, and 19 tackles on 345 defensive snaps. Dawson appeared in 12 games with one start for the Broncos in 2020 where he had eight tackles on 69 defensive snaps and 108 special team steps before he was once again placed on IR following Week 14 due to a torn ACL.
Dawson began the 2021 season on the Reserve/PUP List before being activated in November. When he returned, Dawson was waived by the Broncos and placed on the practice squad for the remainder of the season.
In 2022, Dawson signed with the Carolina Panthers at the beginning of training camp but was placed on IR on August 23 before being released. During the preseason, Dawson appeared in one game where he played 19 snaps and had three tackles.
To make room for Dawson on the practice squad, the Steelers released running back Jason Huntley.
Duke Dawson joins cornerbacks Mark Gilbert, Josh Jackson, and Quincy Wilson on the practice squad. Both Jackson and Wilson were also second-round picks with Jackson in 2018 by Green Bay and Wilson in 2017 by Indianapolis. Dawson and Wilson played together at the University of Florida from 2014 through 2016.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the Steelers prepare to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday at Arcisure Stadium.