Rams Promote Former Steelers Draft Pick

Antoine Brooks vs JuJu Smith-Schuster

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images JuJu Smith-Schuster (#19) of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against Antoine Brooks Jr. (#25) during Pittsburgh Steelers training camp at Heinz Field on July 29, 2021.

On November 9 the Los Angeles Rams announced that they have promoted former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Antoine Brooks Jr. to their 53-man roster. Thus far he has played in two games for the Rams this season, but exclusively on special teams.

The former Maryland product was selected by the Steelers in the sixth-round of the 2020 NFL Draft and signed to the Rams’ practice squad in early September, a few days after he was released from Pittsburgh’s Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement.

Notably. he entered training camp this summer as the odds-on favorite to take over for Mike Hilton as Pittsburgh’s new slot cornerback, but he practiced little and played not at all after the Pro Football Hall of Fame game against the Dallas Cowboys. He was waived during an early round of roster cuts and then proceeded directly to the injured reserve list.

Per Pro Football Reference, Brooks appeared in four games for the Steelers in 2020 and was credited with two tackles, having played 29 snaps on defense and 10 more on special teams.

Titans Release Cornerback Breon Borders

In another roster move from late Tuesday, the Tennessee Titans released former Steelers cornerback Breon Borders from the team’s active roster. Borders played in nine games for the Titans this year but rarely played a prominent role on defense, mildly surprising insofar as he played well in a starting role for Tennessee for part of last season and followed that up by “turning heads” at Titans training camp this summer.

The Steelers signed the former undrafted free agent (Duke University) to a contract in April 2020, but released him in August. He caught on with the Titans after a mid-September tryout, and eventually made his way from the practice squad to the active roster on November 7. Before getting injured he played in five games and made four starts, and at one point Pro Football Focus had him rated as the eighth-best cornerback in the NFL, by virtue of allowing just 19 completions on 39 targets (48.7%) for 191 yards.

Falcons Sign Pitt Product Lafayette Pitts

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Atlanta Falcons added cornerback Lafayette Pitts to their practice squad. The Steelers signed the former Buffalo Bills and Pitt Panthers defensive back on August 6, 2021, but he was released on August 28, part of the second-to-last round of roster cuts.

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Steelers Practice Squad Protections – Week 10

On Wednesday the Steelers named the four practice squad players they have chosen to protect this week:

• Safety Karl Joseph
• Wide receiver Anthony Miller
• Tight end Kevin Rader
• Wide receiver Steven Sims

Rader was elevated from the practice squad for Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears, the first regular-season game in which he appeared this season. Per Pro Football Reference, he had one reception for one yard during the only snap in which he played.

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