Steelers Sign Record-Setting Kicker; 3 Defenders Ruled out vs Eagles

Nick Sciba

Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images Nick Sciba of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons kicks a field against the Syracuse Orange.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) take on the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles (6-0) on Sunday, they will be without the services of kicker Chris Boswell, who was ruled out with a right groin injury following Saturday’s walk-through.

The move prompted the Steelers to add free agent placekicker Nick Sciba to the practice squad. Sciba originally signed with the team on May 16 and remained with the Steelers through training camp and most of the preseason before getting waived as part of Pittsburgh’s second round of roster cuts.

As per, Sciba will be elevated to the active/inactive roster for the Eagles game. To make room for him on the practice squad, the team released wide receiver Josh Malone, who was signed on Oct. 18 in the wake of a successful tryout.

Nick Sciba: The Most Accurate Kicker in NCAA History

Sciba, an undrafted free agent out of Wake Forest, converted 80 of 89 field goal attempts (89.9%) with the Demon Deacons, making him the most accurate kicker in NCAA, ACC and Wake Forest history. He also holds the NCAA record for consecutive field goals made (34), and he never missed a PAT in college. But at just 5-foot-9 and 191 pounds, he’s undersized by current day placekicker standards, and leg strength is an issue, as his career long field goal at Wake Forest was just 49 yards.

That said, the Steelers might have turned to Matthew Wright (Steelers/Jaguars/Chiefs), if available. Recall that Wright has successfully filled in for Boswell in the past, making all four of his field goal attempts and all seven of his extra-point attempts while with the Steelers, as per Pro Football Refence. But the Central Florida product joined Kansas City’s practice squad in late September, and signing him away from the Chiefs would have required keeping him on the active roster for at least three games.

Boswell, who signed a four-year $20 million contract extension during training camp, is 12-of-16 on field goal attempts and 9-of-9 on extra point attempts this season. He has a history of groin issues and hip injuries.

3 Defenders Ruled Out vs the Eagles

In addition to Chris Boswell, the Steelers also ruled out cornerback Josh Jackson (groin). That means at least three Pittsburgh defenders won’t play on Sunday, as cornerback Levi Wallace and defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi (knee) were both ruled out on Friday.

The absence of Ogunjobi explains why the Steelers have also elected to elevate third-year defensive lineman Carlos Davis from the practice squad. Davis is a former 7th-round pick (2020) who has appeared in 11 career games to date and has been credited with a total of 11 tackles, including four tackles for loss.

T.J. Watt Remains on Injured Reserve

Meanwhile, on Saturday afternoon Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt was not activated off the injured reserve list and is therefore ineligible to play against the Eagles on Sunday.

The Steelers have a bye after the Eagles game and return to action on Sunday Nov. 13 when they host the New Orleans Saints at Acrisure Stadium.

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