Ex-Titans, Jets Edge Rusher Visits Steelers

Sharif Finch

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images Sharif Finch of the Tennessee Titans attempts to tackle Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns on September 8, 2019.

On Wednesday former Tennessee Titans and New York Jets outside linebacker Sharif Finch had a visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers, as per reporter Aaron Wilson, via the NFL’s workouts and visits list.

Finch has played in one NFL game this season, spending a little more than a week with the Titans while ex-Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree was being rested, part of Dupree’s ongoing comeback from a torn ACL suffered in December 2020.

Sharif Finch Originally Signed With The Titans for $42K

Finch—6-foot-4 and 250 pounds—spent his first two seasons in the NFL with the Titans, who inked him as an undrafted free agent out of Temple in 2018, giving him $42,000 in guaranteed money as an enticement to sign. He played in 23 games (three starts) during his first stint with Tennessee, before the Cincinnati Bengals claimed him on waivers in December 2019.

But Finch never played in a game for the Bengals, nor at his next stop, the Las Vegas Raiders. He went on to spend the early part of the 2020 season on the practice squad of the Chicago Bears, and finally saw game action again in November 2020, shortly after he was signed to the practice squad of the New York Jets.

He went on to appear in three games for the Jets, with all of his snaps coming on special teams. This year he has spent time with the Jets and Titans, and also had a tryout with the Atlanta Falcons, where he might have been reunited with ex-Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

At Temple, Finch played in 53 career games for the Owls and recorded 144 total tackles (85 solo), with 32 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, two interceptions and five blocked kicks.

His career stat line in the NFL reads: 27 games (three starts), with 41 total tackles (30 solo), including 3.5 sacks, six tackles for loss and four quarterback hits. He also has two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

How Sharif Finch Would Fit in Pittsburgh

Assuming Finch signs to Pittsburgh’s practice squad, he will be groomed to provide depth behind backup outside linebackers Taco Chalton and Derrek Tuszka, both relatively recent acquisitions, with Charlton joining the practice squad in September and getting elevated to the active roster in late October. For his part, Tuszka was added to the practice squad on September 1, 2021 and elevated in late September.

At the moment the Steelers have just one linebacker on the practice squad, that being first-player Delontae Scott (SMU), who stands 6-foot-5 and is listed at 246 pounds.

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Steelers Injury Update

On Wednesday the Steelers released their first injury/participation report of the week (“estimated”), as the team did not practice, merely holding a walk-thru, as per Brooke Pryor of ESPN.

But if the Steelers had practiced, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (pectoral/shoulder) would have been held out, as Wednesday is always a rest day for the 18-year vet. Second-year wide receiver Chase Claypool would have also missed practice, as he’s dealing with a toe injury suffered this past Monday night against the Bears.

Meanwhile, tight end Eric Ebron would have been limited in practice with the hamstring injury that has been an issue since last week. Three other players are on the report with injuries—defenders Cam Heyward (ankle), Isaiah Buggs (hip) and linebacker Robert Spillane (ankle)—but all are labeled as would-be full participants.

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