Steelers Showing Interest in Bringing Back Former Starting Linebacker: Report

Myles Jack

Getty NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers and linebacker Myles Jack are showing mutual interest in a reunion.

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers told the media on November 14 that the team was not considering options at inside linebacker outside of the organization. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on November 17 that those plans may have changed.

Rapoport tweeted that the Steelers and veteran inside linebacker Myles Jack “have mutual interest” in reuniting. Jack started 13 games for the Steelers during the 2022 season.

“Reunion? The Steelers and LB Myles Jack have mutual interest in jack joining the team’s practice squad not that he’s cleared waivers, sources say,” Rapoport posted on X (formerly Twitter). “With the injury to Kwon Alexander, and Jack un-retiring, worth keeping an eye on.”

In 15 games for the Steelers last season, Jack posted 104 combined tackles, including 3 tackles for loss and 1 quarterback hit. He also had 3 pass defenses.

The Steelers released Jack in March. He signed a contract to join the Philadelphia Eagles in early August but retired two weeks later.

Pittsburgh has depth concerns at inside linebacker after losing Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander to season-ending injuries the past two weeks.

How LB Myles Jack Could Fit With the Steelers

Jack has never made the All-Pro team or a Pro Bowl, but he’s been regarded as a talented player for most of his career.

The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Jack at No. 36 overall in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. He started almost immediately and became a significant player on Jacksonville’s defense, which led the team to the AFC Championship Game during the 2017 season.

In six seasons with the Jaguars, Jack reached more than 100 combined tackles three times. He surpassed that milestone again during his first season with the Steelers.

Jack, however, lost his starting job at the end of the 2022 season in Pittsburgh. Then by releasing Jack, the Steelers saved $8 million in cap space.

In free agency, the Steelers signed Holcomb, Alexander and Elandon Roberts to completely revamp the team’s insider linebackers.

With two of those linebackers now out for the season, Jack is an interesting potential addition for Pittsburgh. While he’s an outside addition that Tomlin said the team wasn’t considering, he might not need as much as time as the average available linebacker to be prepared to play in Pittsburgh.

He has veteran experience and is familiar with the Steelers culture and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

According to Rapoport, Jack has unretired and already cleared waivers from his Eagles release. He can now sign with any team.

Pittsburgh’s Current Depth at Inside Linebacker

Although it was just a couple months, Jack’s retirement does mean that he might not be in football shape. So, it would make sense for him to begin a new Steelers tenure on the practice squad, as Rapoport tweeted the two sides are considering.

For Week 11, though, the Steelers will possibly be counting on other practice squad inside linebacker — Mykal Walker and Tariq Carpenter.

Walker doesn’t have starting experience with the Steelers like Jack does, but Walker started 12 games for the Atlanta Falcons last season. He posted 107 combined tackles, including 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 6 pass defenses and 2 interceptions in 16 games.

Carpenter dressed for the Steelers as a practice squad elevation in Week 10, but he only played on special teams.

Walker and Carpenter are available for the Steelers to support Roberts and likely new starting inside linebacker Mark Robinson.

A 2022 seventh-round pick, Robinson replaced Jack in the Pittsburgh starting lineup in Week 17 last season. Prior to Week 10, though, he had only played 4 snaps on defense in 2023.

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