Veteran Lineman Caught Up in Steelers’ ‘Numbers Game’: Analyst

Mike Tomlin Steelers sideline

Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on August 20, 2022.

With the cutdown from 80 to 53 players now just days away, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has some difficult decisions to make at a handful of position groups, including the defensive line. Pittsburgh can be expected to release four — if not five — of its 11 defensive linemen, making it likely that one or more established veterans are going to be among the cuts.

That includes sixth-year defensive tackle Montravius Adams, a former Packers third-round pick who was poached off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad in late November 2021 and immediately thrust into the starting lineup.

“He ended up starting four of his five games in Pittsburgh, earning regular snaps in the rotation and notching a sack of Patrick Mahomes in the playoff loss,” notes Eric Edholm, lead draft writer for More specifically, Adams played 189 regular-season snaps for the Steelers last year, and was credited with eight tackles and three quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Reference.

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“But suddenly, Adams appears to be caught up in a numbers game on a fairly deep D-line,” adds Edholm, as All-Pro Cam Heyward, free agent acquisition Larry Ogunjobi and former Top 10 overall pick Tyson Alualu are the starters and roster locks. Rookie third-round pick DeMarvin Leal also figures to be a roster lock — especially after flashing his potential this summer — even though he’s listed as third team on the depth chart.

And while former Ravens defensive end Chris Wormley and 2021 fifth-round pick Isaiahh Loudermilk certainly aren’t roster locks, it’s a good bet that they will make the roster, with Wormley having produced seven sacks in 2021 and Loudermilk having flashed ability as a rookie, especially as a run defender. If anything, Wormley seems more at risk than Loudermilk, as the 28-year-old is entering the last year of his contract and cutting him would save the Steelers $2.3 million, as per

Davis Twins to the Practice Squad?

That leaves the twins — Carlos and Khalil Davis — on the outside looking in, though both have strong practice squad potential.

Carlos Davis was a seventh-round pick of the Steelers in 2020 and appeared in a total of 11 games during his first two seasons in the league. His twin brother, Khalil, has had a more interesting NFL career thus far, having been drafted No. 194 overall in the 2020 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Khalil Davis appeared in two games for the Bucs as a rookie and finished that year with a Super Bowl ring. Pittsburgh signed Khalil to its practice squad in early November 2021 and inked a one-year Reserve/Futures contract in January of this year.

That said, Donovan Jeter — an undrafted free agent out of Michigan — is destined to get waived, as is Henry Mondeaux, who has been in the NFL since 2018 but has dropped to fourth team (behind Khalil Davis) on the team’s depth chart.

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The Steelers Return to Action on Sunday

Pittsburgh plays its third and final preseason game at 4:30 p.m. ET on August 28, when the Detroit Lions visit Acrisure Stadium. Like all NFL teams, Pittsburgh must set its 53-man roster by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday August 30.

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