Steelers Add QB, Practice Squad Set


Justin Berl/Getty Images Devlin Hodges of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs onto the field during introductions before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on December 1, 2019.

On Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers cut quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges after claiming former Steelers QB Josh Dobbs off waivers following his release by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

On Monday the Steelers brought him back, making Hodges the sixteenth and final member of the team’s practice squad.

It’s a decision that will likely be applauded by Hall of Famer and former Steelers great Rod Woodson, who recently questioned why the Steelers kept Mason Rudolph in favor of Hodges.

Hodges will serve as the team’s fourth-string quarterback, behind starter Ben Roethlisberger, backup Mason Rudolph and third-stringer Josh Dobbs. Now the team has four quarterbacks who have appeared in multiple games for the Steelers, a level of experience and familiarity that could be important should coronavirus strike the team’s quarterback room.

Hodges signed with the Steelers last spring as a rookie undrafted free agent out of Samford University in Alabama.

He appeared in eight games in 2019 and posted a record of 3-3 in his six starts. Hodges completed 100 of 160 passes for 1,063 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions for a passer rating of 71.4.

‘Ducks on the River?’

Reacting to the news of the re-signing, one Twitter user said: “Can’t wait to go to a dive bar outside of Heinz Field called ‘Duck’s’ in like 10 years.”

To which Devlin Hodges responded: “Ducks on the river.”

Cameron Heyward Talks Contract Extension

Speaking of players remaining in Pittsburgh long-term, star defensive end Cameron Heyward spoke today about the sequence of events that led to him signing a four-year contract extension that will keep him with the Steelers through 2024.

Speaking with the media on Monday he said: “To be honest, 48 hours ago, I could’ve thought something different,” referring to the chances of negotiations falling apart. “This was a testament to a lot of people getting this done, whether it was my agent, Mr. Rooney, Kevin Colbert, Omar Khan and Coach T[omlin]. This was a combination of a lot of different people getting this done.

Heyward went on to admit that there “was a lot of doubt in my head for a good bit…. When I say 48 hours, I feel like there was a time this was almost dead, to be completely honest. I was getting ready for farewells, getting ready for my farewell tour, this being my last ride.

“I couldn’t see myself being anywhere else, but I had to be ready for that reality,” Heyward concluded.

Now going somewhere else won’t ever be an issue, as the contract carries him through his age-35 season in 2024. He’s now among the highest paid players at his position, befitting his status as one of the Top 50 players in the NFL, this according to Pro Football Focus.

Going forward Heyward and his teammates can work toward setting a new franchise record for most consecutive seasons with 50-plus sacks. That’s a defensive achievement that hasn’t been seen in the National Football League since the 1980s.

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