Steelers Waive Last Year’s Training Camp ‘Phenom’


Grant Halverson/Getty Images Tuzar Skipper #51 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tackles Jordan Scarlett of the Carolina Panthers during the first half of their preseason game on August 29, 2019.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be announcing a slew of roster cuts in advance of the 4 pm Eastern deadline on Saturday.

According to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, one of those cuts has already been made, with outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper having been waived on Friday.

Skipper entered the NFL in the spring of last year, signing with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Toledo. He made himself very conspicuous during training camp last summer and also shined during the 2019 preseason, recording a sack in each of the team’s first three preseason games, along with eight solo tackles and a forced fumble.

Tuzar Skipper Was 2019’s ‘Camp Phenom’

Never mind that Skipper was last year’s “camp phenom,” this according to Steelers broadcaster Tunch Ilkin, who described Skipper as “really quick upfield, and he’s got a quick change of direction. He doesn’t waste steps. He’s a guy that’s very, very efficient in his pass rush. He’s got a nice body lean, so he’ll get the edge. He’s quick enough to get the edge. And he just has an uncanny anticipation of the snap count. That’s what makes him so effective to me.”

But despite the fact that Skipper recorded two more sacks in last year’s preseason finale vs. the Carolina Panthers, that didn’t prevent him from getting waived by the Steelers prior to the regular season, at which point he was claimed on waivers by the New York Giants.

Skipper was on the Giants’ regular season roster for six games—responsible for three tackles, a fumble recovery and half a sack—before being moved down to the Giants’ practice squad. From there the Steelers signed him off New York’s practice squad, and went on to ink him to a two-year contract extension in late December of last year.

During his last season with the Toledo Rockets in 2018, Skipper was named Third-team All-MAC, registering 60 tackles along with 11.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks, plus a fumble recovered for a touchdown versus Ball State.

The Steelers are no stranger to players from Toledo; wide receiver Diontae Johnson and linebacker Ola Adeniyi are also former Toledo Rockets.

Steelers Waive Anthony Johnson with an Injury Settlement

In another procedural move on Friday, the Steelers waived wide receiver Anthony Johnson with an injury settlement. Johnson was waived injured on August 27, but the former undrafted free agent reverted to the team’s injured reserve list after going unclaimed on waivers.

Johnson is the second player that the Steelers have waived with an injury settlement in the last week, following in the footsteps of tight end Dax Raymond.

Johnson came into the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and caught five passes for 57 yards during last year’s preseason, but was unable to make the Bucs’ opening day roster. He spent most of the 2019 campaign on the practice squad of the Los Angeles Chargers.

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