Steelers Poach Kicker Off Chiefs Practice Squad

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On Wednesday the Pittsburgh Steelers signed kicker Matthew Wright off the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad, seemingly an ominous sign concerning the health of regular placekicker Chris Boswell. Recall that Boswell missed the team’s most recent game — at Philadelphia on Oct. 30 — with a groin injury. And though practice squad kicker Nick Sciba filled in capably in Boswell’s absence (2 of 2 on field goals and 1 of 1 on extra points), the Steelers elected to waive Sciba from the practice squad and replace him with Wright, who must remain on Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster for at least the next three games.

Matthew Wright First Joined the Steelers in 2019

Wright, 26, originally joined the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of Central Florida in 2019 and spent training camp with the team.

He was signed to the Steelers practice squad in 2020 and appeared in three games while Boswell was battling hip and groin injuries. During those games he connected on 4 of 4 field goal attempts and was 7 of 7 on extra points.

Last season Wright played in 14 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars, connecting on 21 of 24 field goal attempts and 13 of 15 extra point attempts. Most notably, he was the hero in Jacksonville’s 23-20 win over the Miami Dolphins in London in October 2021, allowing the Jaguars to end a 20-game losing streak. On that day he converted both of his extra-point attempts and all three of his field goal attempts — including 54- and 53-yarders during the last four minutes of the game. Nevertheless, the Jaguars made the surprise decision to waive him in mid-May.

This August, Wright had the opportunity to try out for the Carolina Panthers, but didn’t catch on with a team until Kansas City signed him to its practice squad. He has since played in two regular-season games, kicking in place of the injured Harrison Butker. Wright connected on 3 of his 4 field goal attempts and was 8 for 8 on extra point attempts. He converted a career-long 59-yard field goal in Week 5 against the Raiders.

Wright played his college football at the University of Central Florida (UCF) where he remains the school record-holder for career points (375) and field goals made (55).

As for Boswell, he signed a four-year, $20 million contract extension earlier this year. In seven games this season, he has made 12 of 16 field goals and all nine extra point attempts. According to Chris Halicke, Steelers beat writer for DK Pittsburgh Sports, Boswell kicked in practice on Monday, “but it appears as if he won’t be ready for Sunday.”

Steelers Injury Report (Saints Week)

Also on Wednesday the Steelers issued their first injury report of Saints week. As noted by Brooke Pryor of ESPN, five players did not practice, including the aforementioned Boswell.

Also sidelined were cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) and recent trade acquisition William Jackson III, who has a back injury. In other negative news, inside linebacker Myles Jack and defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi did not practice as a result of their respective knee injuries.

On a positive note, cornerback Levi Wallace (shoulder) was a full participant, as was long-snapper Christian Kuntz (ribs).

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