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Steelers elevate two defensive backs for Sunday’s game against the Bills

The Steelers elevate Josh Jackson and Elijah Riley from the practice squad with both Ahkello Witherspoon and Terrell Edmunds ruled out.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have elevated two players to the practice squad ahead of their Week 5 matchup with the Buffalo Bills. With cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon already ruled out Friday, and safety Terrell Edmunds being downgraded to out on Saturday, the Steelers have elevated cornerback Josh Jackson and safety Elijah Riley.

It was reported earlier on Saturday that the Steelers signed outside linebacker Ryan Anderson to the 53-man roster. In the corresponding move, the Steelers released outside linebacker David Anenih.

Josh Jackson was a second-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers out of Iowa in the 2018 NFL draft. After three years in Green Bay where Jackson played in 42 games with 15 starts with 86 tackles and 12 passes defense, he was traded to the New York Giants in exchange for cornerback Isaac Yiadom. Released by the Giants in October after not appearing in a game, Jackson landed on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad where he was elevated for two games and had four tackles. Jackson spent the 2022 preseason with the Arizona Cardinals but did not make the team. Jackson was one of the final players signed by the Steelers to their 16-man practice squad ahead of Week 1.

Last week, Jackson played five snaps on special teams against the Jets but did not see the field on defense.

Undrafted out of Army in 2020, Riley signed with the Philadelphia Eagles following the NFL Draft. Failing to make the 53-man roster, Riley landed on the practice squad and was elevated for the Eagles matchup against the Steelers. In mid December, Riley was signed to the active roster and finished the season with five games played but with only four snaps on defense and 65 on special teams. Failing to make the Eagles roster again in 2021, Riley landed back on the practice squad and was activated for one game with the Eagles where he played eight special team snaps. In November, the Jets signed Riley off the Eagles practice squad, where he played in seven games with 386 defensive snaps where Riley had 1.0 sacks, one pass defense, 45 tackles, and three tackles for loss. Landing back with the Jets for 2022, Riley was released when rosters were trimmed down to 80 players and was claimed by the Steelers off waivers.

In his one preseason game with the Steelers in August, Riley played 46 defensive snaps where he had four tackles and a pass defensed.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Steelers prepare to face the Bills this Sunday at 1 PM in Buffalo.