The Pittsburgh Steelers officially announced two roster moves Wednesday ahead of Week 7, including the signing of rookie cornerback Darius Rush to the active roster from the Chiefs practice squad. In a corresponding move, the Steelers released veteran CB Desmond King II. King’s release is not unexpected, as reports surfaced Tuesday that the team was looking to trade or release him following his signing less than two months ago.
Rush was originally selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the No. 138 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, having surprised many when they chose to release him at the NFL’s roster cut deadline. The 23-year-old product out of South Carolina signed with the Chiefs practice squad back in September, with a tall frame at 6’2 and blazing 4.36 speed, and now is headed to Pittsburgh, where the Steelers can use some depth as they struggle to cover top receiving options around the league.
As a converted wide receiver, Rush’s ball skills will complement the Steelers secondary well in a crew that creates plenty of opportunity to generate turnovers for their ballhawk. In his 2022 season, Rush allowed a 58.1% completion rate in coverage, nabbing two interceptions on the year while dropping two more. Though Rush is definitely a project, with his combination of size and speed, there’s some upside in signing him as the team moves on from King, who’s played just a single defensive snap in 2023 with limited appearances on special teams.
The Steelers will travel to face the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7, likely meaning Rush will be one of the team’s five gameday inactives with the short turnaround.