Steelers Ink Ex-Ohio State Lineman, Waive Injured Defensive End

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On Monday the Pittsburgh Steelers added a new face to the team’s offensive line, signing former Ohio State offensive guard Malcolm Pridgeon. He’s one of three players that the Steelers worked out last week, along with former Green Bay Packers linebacker Curtis Bolton and ex-Stony Brook defensive back T.J. Morrison. In a corresponding move, the Steelers waived defensive end Calvin Taylor with an injury designation.

Pridgeon Was a COVID-19 Opt-Out

Malcolm Pridgeon—6-foot-7 and 310 pounds—originally entered the NFL in the spring of 2019, signing with the Houston Texans as a rookie undrafted free agent. He was released prior to the start of the regular season, then signed to the practice squad of the Cleveland Browns. He went on to ink a Reserve/Future contract with the Browns in late December of 2019, but opted-out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. He has been out of the league since the Browns waived him in February.

The Long Island, N.Y. native started his college football career by playing two seasons at Nassau Community College in Garden City, N.Y. (2014-15). After missing the 2016 season with an injury, he went on to play in every game for Ohio State in 2017-18, two years in which the Buckeyes won Big Ten Conference championships and also won Bowl games over USC (2018 Cotton Bowl) and Washington (2019 Rose Bowl).

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Pittsburgh’s Situation at Offensive Guard

Pridgeon, 26, joins an offensive line room that features free agent addition Trai Turner as the projected starting right guard. Meanwhile, former 2020 fourth-round pick Kevin Dotson is listed as the first-team left guard on Pittsburgh’s training camp depth chart, though he is currently practicing with the second-teamers while free agent signee Rashaad Coward runs with the starters.

Pridgeon will be competing with the likes of veteran B.J. Finney and former undrafted free agent Brandon Walton for a backup role or a spot on the team’s practice squad.

Calvin Taylor, Injured?

As for Calvin Taylor, it’s not clear when the 24-year-old was injured, nor do we know the nature of his ailment. The Steelers originally signed the 6-foot-9 defensive end as a rookie undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft, but he was waived last summer when the team cut its roster to 53 players. He was subsequently signed to the team’s practice squad in September 2020, just days after the club brought him in for a workout, one prompted by nose tackle Dan McCullers having terminated his contract to join the Chicago Bears.

In college, Taylor made 22 starts for the University of Kentucky, the same school that produced former Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree and Steelers running back Benny Snell Jr.

All in all, he totaled 85 tackles for the Wildcats, including 16.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, five pass deflections and three forced fumbles.

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