Steelers Sign Former Jaguars Tight End, Release LB

Charles Jones II

Michael Hickey/Getty Images Charles Jones II of the Tulane Green Wave reaches for a pass as Darrick Forrest of the Cincinnati Bearcats defends.

In the middle of last week the Pittsburgh Steelers worked out former Jaguars tight end Charles Jones II. Today the team added him to the practice squad, providing depth to a position group that is currently without Vance McDonald, who has been on the COVID-Reserve list for the past week. There is one other tight end on Pittsburgh’s practice squad, that being Kevin Rader, 25, a first-year player out of Youngstown State.

Jones—who is 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds—signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in the spring of 2019. The New Orleans native—who played his college football at Tulane University—spent most of his rookie campaign on Jacksonville’s practice squad, but was on its 53-man roster for four games at the end of last year.

This summer Jones landed on Jacksonville’s COVID-19 Reserve list on two separate occasions before he went on injured reserve with a quad/foot injury, and he was later waived with an injury settlement. In October, a workout with the Buffalo Bills led to him spending three days on Buffalo’s practice squad.

LB Ray Wilborn Released

To make room for Jones on the practice squad the Steelers released rookie linebacker Ray Wilborn, who signed with Pittsburgh after a workout (October 23rd) in the wake of Devin Bush’s season-ending ACL injury. The versatile Ball State University product entered the NFL by way of the Atlanta Falcons, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in late April. But he failed to make Atlanta’s 53-man roster and failed to catch on with Green Bay after a workout with the Packers.

In 2018, Wilborn played outside linebacker for the Ball State Cardinals and led the team with 83 tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss. Last year, he started 12 games at safety and finished third on the team in tackles with 83 and fourth in passes defensed with six. He also intercepted a total of three passes in 2018 and 2019.

At the moment, Pittsburgh has only 15 players on its practice squad, so another addition could be made in the not-too-distant future.

Steelers to Continue to Host Fans at Heinz Field

Meanwhile, on Monday the Director of Communications for the Steelers issued a statement saying that the team plans to continue to host fans at Heinz Field for the remainder of the 2020 season.

“We will continue to consult with public health officials on a regular basis to make sure our plans are consistent with approved and up to date protocols,” noted the statement, which came in the wake of the Philadelphia Eagles deciding to suspend permission for fans to attend games at Lincoln Financial Field.

Pittsburgh’s next scheduled home game will take place on November 26th (Thanksgiving Night) against the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers also host Washington on December 6th and Indianapolis on December 27th.

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