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Steelers promote WR, shuffle practice squad ahead of Week 2 matchup against Browns

WR Dez Fitzpatrick takes Cam Heyward’s spot on the 53-man roster.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick (82) takes part in a drill during the team’s training camp at Saint Vincent College on July 28, 2023, in Latrobe, PA. Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers have made a flurry of roster moves ahead of their Week 2 game against the Cleveland Browns. On Thursday, the team announced that wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick had been signed from the practice squad to the Steelers’ 53-man roster, taking defensive lineman Cam Heyward’s spot, who was recently placed on injured reserve.

The Steelers also announced that they had released cornerback Anthony Brown from the practice squad and placed safety Josiah Scott on the Practice Squad/Injured List. To fill those two spots, Pittsburgh signed cornerback Luq Barcoo and running back Greg Bell. Both had been released from the Steelers’ practice squad days earlier before being added back on Thursday.

Finally, to fill Fitzpatrick’s vacated spot on the practice squad, the Steelers announced the signing of cornerback Kalon Barnes today, filling out the 16-man squad. Pittsburgh had hosted Barnes for a workout earlier this season.

Here’s what we wrote about Barnes when he tried out for the Steelers before Week 1:

Barnes, the lone cornerback on this list, was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Baylor. In his final collegiate season, Barnes recorded 23 total tackles, 5 passes defensed, and 1 interception. The 6’0, 186-pound corner holds the second-fastest 40-yard dash in NFL Combine history, running the event in 4.23 seconds in 2022. Since being drafted, Barnes has bounced around the league, spending time with the Dolphins and most recently the Vikings.

With his blazing speed, the young corner looks like a high-upside addition to Pittsburgh’s practice squad.

Fitzpatrick, now on the Steelers’ 53-man roster, could have the opportunity to contribute right away following wideout Diontae Johnson’s hamstring injury last week. The third-year receiver stands at 6’2 and 208 pounds. He has five career catches in five games played, recording a total of 49 receiving yards and one touchdown at the NFL level. He impressed with his special teams ability in the preseason for the Steelers.

The Steelers will face the Browns on Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. ET.