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Reunion between Steelers and Ola Adeniyi off after failed physical

Adeniyi missed nine games this season dealing with a neck injury.

Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

On Tuesday, it was reported the Steelers were bringing back outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi after spending the last two seasons with the Tennessee Titans. But according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, even though the Steelers claimed Adeniyi off waivers he did not pass their physical and was not added to the 53-man roster.

CORRECTION: Schefter later added that Adeniyi was not a waiver claim but was planning to sign as a free agent.

Undrafted out of Toledo in 2018, Adeniyi began his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers but landed on the injured reserve in his first season only to return late in the year. In three years with the Steelers from 2018 to 2020, Adeniyi played in 32 games with one start where he had three forced fumbles and 25 tackles. Playing 215 defense of snaps over three seasons, Adeniyi was more of a special teams player as he had 508 special team snaps. Landing with the Tennessee Titans the last two seasons, Adeniyi appeared in 19 games with one start on 276 defensive snaps and 341 on special teams. In his time in Tennessee, Adeniyi had 2.5 sacks with 25 tackles and a pass defensed.

Adeniyi was placed on the Reserve/Injured List (IR) in October by the Tennessee Titans with a neck injury. Designated to return prior to Week 13, the Titans activated Adeniyi three days later and he appeared in their matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles where he played 28 defensive snaps as well as 13 on special teams and had two tackles. The following game Adeniyi was inactive and was released the next day. Attempting to sign him, it appears Adeniyi is still having a neck issue and did not pass his physical with the Steelers and is now a free agent.

Because the transaction was never complete with the Steelers, they did not have to make a corresponding roster move. So when it comes to the Steelers 53-man roster, it is as if none of this ever happened. Whether or not the Steelers will continue to look for help with depth at the outside linebacker position remains to be seen.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the Steelers prepare to take on the Panthers in Carolina this Sunday.