Steelers Elevate Former First-Round Pick, 2 Others Set to Debut

Mike Tomlin Steelers

Joe Sargent/Getty Images Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 14, 2021.

On Saturday afternoon the Pittsburgh Steelers made a series of roster moves in anticipation of Sunday night’s showdown with Justin Herbert, Joey Bosa and the rest of the Los Angeles Chargers. First and foremost, the Steelers activated quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from the Reserve/COVID-19 list to the 53-man roster with the expectation that he will start vs. the Chargers. Per Steelers director of communications Burt Lauten, Roethlisberger will not fly on the team charter, but will instead take a separate flight to Los Angeles.

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Safety Karl Joseph Elevated From The Practice Squad

Meanwhile, the Steelers also elevated former Raiders first-round pick Karl Joseph from the practice squad to the active/inactive roster as a COVID-19 replacement for free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who remains on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. This will be the second time this year that Joseph, 28, has been elevated from the practice squad, with the previous time coming in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos, when he played a total of eight snaps on defense and special teams.

Joseph—who was selected No. 14 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft—figures to serve as depth at safety against the Chargers. He was signed to Pittsburgh’s practice squad on September 1, 2021, but has a wealth of NFL experience, with 64 games and 49 starts to his credit, per Pro Football Reference. His career numbers include 303 total tackles, five interceptions and three sacks.

2 Defenders Poised to Debut

The Steelers also elevated two other defensive players from the practice squad, those being defensive lineman Daniel Archibong and outside linebacker Delontae Scott.

Archibong—6-foot-6 and 300 pounds—joined Pittsburgh’s practice squad on the same day as Joseph, but has yet to appear in a regular-season game. He originally signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2021 NFL Draft. During his college career at Temple he had 89 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble and eight passes defensed. In effect, he replaces rookie fifth-round pick Isaiahh Loudermilk, who was ruled out of the Chargers game on Friday because of a groin injury.

Like Archibong, Delontae Scott, 24, is a former undrafted free agent, except Scott originally entered the league with the Green Bay Packers after the 2020 NFL Draft. Scott—6-foot-5 and 250 pounds—is an edge rusher who signed to Pittsburgh’s practice squad on September 7, 2021. He played his college football in Texas at SMU, where he appeared in 40 career games and recorded 97 total tackles (including 36 tackles for loss), plus 18 sacks and five forced fumbles.

With T.J. Watt out of the lineup for at least one week, Scott will serve as depth at OLB behind the likes of second-year man Alex Highsmith, former Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Taco Charlton, and former MVFC Defensive Player of the Year Derrek Tuszka.

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