Steelers Place D-Lineman on IR, Rookie Set to Debut


Getty Antoine Brooks Jr. making a tackle while a member of the Maryland Terrapins.

On Saturday the Pittsburgh Steelers made a series of roster moves in advance of Sunday’s showdown against the Baltimore Ravens, at least a few of which are a direct response to recent injuries.

Most notably, the Steelers placed defensive lineman Chris Wormley on injured reserve, so he will be unavailable for at least the next three games. Wormley suffered a knee injury last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans and had an MRI on Tuesday, though the Steelers have yet to disclose the results of that MRI.

In what the team has described as a “related move,” the Steelers also activated running back Trey Edmunds from the practice squad. That would seem to suggest that fullback Derek Watt (hamstring) will be unavailable to play against the Ravens, as Edmunds has only been active for the games (Eagles, Titans) that Watt has missed due to injury.

Safety Antoine Brooks Jr. Activated

On Saturday the Steelers also activated safety Antoine Brooks Jr. from the practice squad to the active/inactive roster. That means the rookie is likely to make his NFL debut on Sunday. Brooks, a sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Maryland, has been on the team’s practice squad all season. He was the leading tackler for the Terps last year with 87 tackles (69 solo) and he regards his tackling ability as one of his greatest strengths.

“I take tackling very seriously,” Brooks told Teresa Varley of in the above-linked article. “I am an aggressive tackler, aggressive player. I did a lot of blitzing. A lot of moving around when I was at Maryland.”

In effect, Brooks figures to take the place of safety Jordan Dangerfield, who has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game along with inside linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III.

Gilbert’s absence also helps explain why linebacker Jayrone Elliott has been called up from the practice squad for the second straight contest.

Both Brooks and Elliott will automatically revert back to the practice squad after the game against Baltimore without having to pass through waivers.

AFC North Implications

As for the implications of Sunday’s matchup, the undefeated Steelers (6-0) can tie the franchise record for best start to a season with a victory. In 1978 Pittsburgh started 7-0 en route to a win over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII.

A Steelers victory would also drop to Ravens to 5-2, with another head to head matchup pending on Thanksgiving night. But the Ravens have a more challenging schedule between now and then, with road games at Indianapolis and New England, following by a home game against the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, the Steelers will be at Dallas, then home to Cincinnati on November 15th, followed by a trip to Jacksonville for a date with the Jaguars.

With a victory the Steelers would move to 2-0 in the AFC North while a Ravens loss would drop them to 2-1 within the division.

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