Bears Sign Ex-Steelers Linebacker Ahead of Week 9 Matchup

Cassius Marsh vs Zach Gentry

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Cassius Marsh (#49) goes against tight end Zach Gentry of the Pittsburgh Steelers during training camp at Heinz Field on July 28, 2021.

On Wednesday the Chicago Bears signed former Pittsburgh Steelers edge rusher Cassius Marsh to the team’s practice squad just five days before the two clubs go head-to-head on Monday Night Football.

Per the NFL’s daily transactions sheet, Marsh was also named as one of Chicago’s four practice squad protections, meaning he cannot be signed by another team until after the Bears-Steelers game on November 8.

The above machinations might be explained by the fact that Chicago’s All-Pro edge rusher, Khalil Mack, has been nursing a foot injury. But the cynically-minded will note that the Bears also waived rookie outside linebacker Sam Kamara, suggesting that Chicago might be hoping to gain intelligence about the Steelers in the runup to their Week 9 game.

Cassius Marsh’s History With the Steelers

Marsh, 29, originally came to the Steelers in December 2020, having been signed off the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts shortly after outside linebacker Bud Dupree suffered a season-ending ACL tear. The Steelers went on to activate Marsh just days later, and the former fourth-round pick appeared in one game, credited with two solo tackles against the Colts on December 27, 2020. He might have played more, except he subsequently landed on the COVID-19/Reserve list as a “close contact” of Steelers cornerback Joe Haden, and did not come off the list until January 7, 2021.

In March 2021, the Steelers re-signed the former UCLA product, who had been an unrestricted free agent. He served as the second-team left outside linebacker for most of training camp and the preseason, but was part of the final round of roster cuts on August 31, 2021. In effect, his job went to undrafted free agent Jamir Jones, who also beat out 2021 sixth-round pick Quincy Roche (Miami), who was waived and subsequently claimed by the New York Giants.

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The Rest of Marsh’s NFL Journey

Since being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, Marsh has played for seven going on eight teams, including the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars. He made headlines this past July when he appeared on the 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast with Tom Segura and said the Patriots “treat players like crap.” He also criticized the “God-awful” speeches of an unnamed former Jaguars coach, apparently referring to ex-Jacksonville boss Doug Marrone, who was fired in January 2021 at the end of a 1-15 season.

Hardy Nickerson Promoted by the Texans

In other news from Wednesday, the son of former Steelers linebacker Hardy Nickerson was promoted to the 53-man roster of the Houston Texans, this according to veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, who cover the Texans.

Nickerson, 27, plays the same position as his father and has been in the NFL since 2017, when he signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent, this according to Pro Football Reference. Since then, he has appeared in a total of 53 games with three different teams, including the Minnesota Vikings and Texans.

His father was a fifth-round draft pick of the Steelers in 1987 and played in Pittsburgh for six seasons before another seven years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he earned Pro Bowl honors five times. He closed out his NFL career with two seasons in Jacksonville and one in Green Bay.

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