As the NFL season winds down into the final weeks, there are still players moving on and off 53-man rosters and practice squads. With a number of practice squad players no longer available for elevation due to the three game limit, roster moves must sometimes be made in order for these players to be available. In doing so, any player released off of the 53-man roster must then pass through waivers before they could be signed back to the team’s practice squad.
While it is unclear whether or not the Steelers would have desired to sign cornerback Josh Jackson to the practice squad after he was released on Saturday, they were not given the opportunity as Jackson was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Cardinals.
Cardinals place Aaron Brewer on IR with pectoral injury, Josh Jackson claimed off waivers from Steelers.— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) December 26, 2022
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.
In Week 4, Jackson was elevated from the Steelers practice squad and played five snaps on special teams against the Jets but did not see the field on defense. Elevated again against the Bills, Jackson played 24 defensive snaps where he had two tackles and a fumble recovery. The next week Jackson was signed to the Steelers 53-man roster ahead of their matchup with Tampa Bay where Jackson was the starting cornerback and played 59 snaps and had four tackles. The following week, Jackson did not see the field against the Miami Dolphins except for four snaps on special teams. Since Week 7, Jackson has either been inactive or simply did not play despite being on the Steelers 53-man roster.
Needing an extra safety due to the hamstring injury of Terrell Edmunds, Elijah Riley was signed off the Steelers practice squad as he had previously been elevated three times and had to be moved on to the 53-man roster in order to be available. In the corresponding roster move, Josh Jackson was released and placed on waivers. On Monday it was announced the Cardinals claimed Jackson on waivers and is now on their 53 man roster.
Based on these roster moves on Saturday, the Steelers currently only have 15 players on their practice squad and will likely be signing a player in the coming days.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to take on the Ravens this Sunday night in Baltimore.