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Steelers promote TE from the practice squad ahead of Week 5

Pittsburgh tight end Rodney Williams (87) warms up prior to the start of the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons on August 24th, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced several roster moves Wednesday, including the promotion of TE Rodney Williams from the practice squad to the active roster ahead of Week 5’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. They’ve also made two additions to the practice squad, including re-signing WR Dez Fitzpatrick and TE Noah Gindorff.

The promotion of Williams to the active roster comes in anticipation of starter Pat Freiermuth being likely to miss Week 5, as Mike Tomlin noted him as “very doubtful” after suffering a hamstring injury against the Texans. Initial reports noted that Freiermuth was likely to miss 2-3 weeks, which means fans could see him return following the Week 6 bye.

Williams has been a fixture on the practice squad since last season, having played in each of the team’s preseason games prior to being released at the NFL roster cut deadline and being signed back to the practice squad. In limited snaps, Williams caught two of his three targets for 15 receiving yards.

Williams will likely play in tandem with rookie TE Darnell Washington and veteran TE/FB/Swiss Army knife Connor Heyward. However, given the lack of significant experience from any of those in the group, this may be a game the Steelers lean more on their running backs in the receiving game. Second-year RB Jaylen Warren has shined as a receiver, specifically, ranking third on the team with 127 receiving yards through four weeks.