Steelers Terminate Running Back to Make Room for Ex-Chargers Linebacker

Emeke Egbule hits Geno Smith

Abbie Parr/Getty Images Quarterback Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks is hit by Emeke Egbule of the Los Angeles Chargers on August 28, 2021.

On Dec. 6 the Pittsburgh Steelers worked out seven players, including former Western Michigan quarterback Kaleb Eleby, a pair of CFL wide receivers and a quartet of long snappers. They have yet to sign any of those individuals. Meanwhile, the team has inked former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Emeke Egbule to the practice squad and terminated the contract of running back Master Teague III in a corresponding move.

Emeke Egbule is a Former 6th Round Pick

Emeke Egbule, 26, spent the first three years in the league with the Chargers, who selected him No. 200 overall in 2019 out of the University of Houston. He has since appeared in 32 regular-season games and has been credited with 13 tackles and a pair of quarterback hits. He has played primarily on special teams (370 snaps), with only 96 career snaps on defense, according to Pro Football Reference.

During his time with the Houston Cougars, Egbule played in a total of 52 games and recorded 164 tackles, including 98 solo stops, 13 tackles for loss, five sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a half-dozen fumble recoveries.

The Steelers had Egbule in for a tryout on Nov. 23, 2022. Last month he was drafted by the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL, which also has former Steelers running back Mataeo Durant on its roster.

As for Teague, he’s a rookie undrafted free agent out of Ohio State who was originally signed by the Steelers in early August, only to get waived/injured two weeks later, having been carted off with a sprained ankle at a training camp practice. The team added him to the practice squad in late November after backup running back Jaylen Warren suffered a hamstring injury against the Bengals.

Pittsburgh’s injury situation at running back has since improved, with Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland Jr. and the aforementioned Warren all complementing the efforts of Najee Harris in recent weeks.

Teague made just six starts in 31 games while in college at Ohio State. He rushed for 1,764 yards with 17 touchdowns and averaged 5.5 yards per carry.

Ex-Steelers LB Ryan Shazier on The Rich Eisen Show

In other news from Wednesday, former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was in studio on The Rich Eisen Show to talk about his Don’t Call It a Comeback podcast, which he co-hosts with Dave Dameshek “and a rotating group of guests to spotlight the week’s biggest sports comeback stories.”

Since announcing his retirement from football on Sept. 9, 2020, Shazier has released an autobiography (“Walking Miracle”) in which he details his recovery from a spinal contusion suffered during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Dec. 2017 — an injury that left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.

He has also launched his own non-profit — the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation — which aims to “change how people view spinal injuries.” He also visits individuals who are dealing with life-altering injuries and illnesses, including: one Steelers/Ohio State Buckeyes fan who lost all of her limbs in the wake of complications from the flu; and an 8-year-old who was paralyzed in the Highland Park, Ill. mass shooting of July 4, 2022.