Per reports, the Steelers have signed two players today to get their roster total back to 53. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Steelers have signed defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko from their practice squad, while insider Mike Garafolo reported that the Steelers have signed running back Godwin Igwebuike from the Falcons’ practice squad.
The #Steelers are signing RB Godwin Igwebuike of the #Falcons' practice squad, sources say. Anthony McFarland landed on IR the other day, so Pittsburgh was carrying only two backs on the active roster.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 20, 2023
The Steelers were only carrying 51 players on their active roster after wide receiver Diontae Johnson and running back Anthony McFarland Jr. were placed on injured reserve on Monday.
Pittsburgh did promote running back Qadree Ollison from the practice squad as a corresponding roster move, but he reverted back after Monday’s game.
As for the signings, Breiden Fehoko should be a familiar face to Steelers fans as the big nose tackle spent the entire preseason with Pittsburgh after being an offseason signing. During final cuts, he was released and added to the Steelers’ practice squad.
Fehoko didn’t have the strongest preseason, but the 6’3, 300-pound nose tackle will certainly provide some gap-stuffing support to the Pittsburgh front, who have struggled with run defense ever since star defensive lineman Cam Heyward went on injured reserve.
With the signing of Fehoko, the Steelers now have an open spot on their practice squad.
Igwebuike was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft. Coming out of college, Igwebuike was a safety who had amassed 324 tackles, 16 passes defensed, and 7 interceptions over his four-year career at Northwestern. He ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
Igwebuike spent time with the 49ers, Eagles, Jets, and Seattle Dragons of the XFL before he was converted to running back on the Lions in 2021. He was waived by Detroit in 2022 but stuck with the running back position on the Seahawks and Falcons’ practice squads before landing with the Steelers. Over his NFL career, Igwebuike has rushed 21 times for 122 yards and a single touchdown, which he scored against the Steelers in 2021.
Somewhat concerning are Igwebuike’s two fumbles on only 21 career carries, but both occurred in 2021 while he was still new to the position.
Igwebuike should be able to help the Steelers right away by replacing Anthony McFarland Jr.’s kickoff return ability. Igwebuike has 39 career returns for 1,005 yards with a long of 50. His ability to contribute right away should result in an active designation of gameday.
The Steelers face the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football this week at 8:20 p.m. ET.