The Steelers have continued their tradition of Monday roster moves, signing WR Aron Cruickshank and LB Kuony Deng. The Cruickshank signing was first reported by NFL insider Aaron Wilson, while the Deng signing was first reported by Steelers writer Joe Rutter.
Steelers have lockers set up for WR Aaron Cruickshank and LB Kuony Deng as they return to practice after second preseason game. No moves have been announced yet.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 21, 2023
Steelers reporter Brooke Pryor later broke the news that WRs Cody White and Hakeem Butler had been waived/injured to make room for the new signings. Steelers.com later announced the roster moves as official.
If White and Butler clear waivers, they will revert to Pittsburgh’s injured reserve unless they reach an injury settlement with the team.
Cruickshank signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2023. The 5’10, 170-pound wide receiver played five years at the college level, with his final three being spent at Rutgers. In his final season as a Scarlet Knight, Cruickshank put up a versatile stat line, recording 42 catches for 385 yards and 2 touchdowns, 11 carries for 115 yards and 1 touchdown, and even a single pass completion for 6 yards. Cruickshank was also a dynamic returner, with 4 kick return touchdowns and 1 punt return touchdown over his collegiate career.
SB Nation Rutgers website On The Banks described Cruickshank as a “swiss-army knife type of player that can do many things in the NFL.”
Deng was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as a UDFA in 2022. He has also spent time on the Chicago Bears’ practice squad. The 6’6, 240-pound linebacker is a lengthy pass-rusher who spent three years as a Cal Golden Bear. His 2021 season was plagued with injury and 2020’s was shortened due to COVID-19, but in 2019, Deng recorded 120 total tackles, 3 sacks, and an impressive 8 passes defended, showing off his versatility as a coverage-capable linebacker.
With only one preseason game left, Deng and Cruickshank’s chances at making the Steelers’ final 53-man roster are slim. However, both signings offer versatile skillsets which may help their chances at standing out and possibly landing on the Steelers’ practice squad.