On Saturday afternoon the Pittsburgh Steelers revealed that punter Pressley Harvin III would not be making the trip to Kansas City for personal reasons. The news came in the wake of a post to Harvin’s Instagram account in which the rookie revealed that his father has died, less than a week after traveling to Heinz Field to see his son play one last time.
Steelers Bring Back Corliss Waitman
Hours later the Steelers announced a pair of roster moves designed to fill the hole in their lineup. For one, Pittsburgh signed punter Corliss Waitman off New England’s practice squad.
Waitman, 26, is a familiar face, despite the fact that he has never appeared in a game for the Steelers. In fact, he spent all of last season on the team’s practice squad after signing as an undrafted free agent on April 28, 2020. He was brought back on a one-year Reserve/Futures contract in early 2021, only to be waived shortly after the Steelers selected Harvin in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
In four seasons at South Alabama, Waitman had 158 punts for 6,740 yards, an average of 42.7-yards per kick. He had his best season in 2017 when he posted a 45.2-yard average.
After getting released by the Steelers in early May 2021, Waitman spent part of the summer with the Las Vegas Raiders. He was signed to New England’s practice squad on November 23, 2021, having worked out for the Patriots on November 11.
By virtue of being signed off another team’s practice squad, Waitman must remain on Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster for the remainder of the regular season. That suggests that the Steelers plan to give him the opportunity to do the punting against the Chiefs on December 26 (not to mention the Browns and Ravens in Week 16 and 17), assuming he succeeds in the role.
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Steelers Sign Former Falcons Punter Cameron Nizialek
However, the Steelers also have an insurance policy in the fold in case Waitman falters. On Saturday the team signed free punter Cameron Nizialek to the practice squad and immediately added him to the active/inactive roster, so he could do the punting and/or holding against the Chiefs, assuming he is activated for the game.
Nizialek, 26—who finished his college career with the Georgia Bulldogs after playing for Columbia University from 2014-16—signed with the Atlanta Falcons in early August 2021, having spent the first three weeks of the 2020 season on Atlanta’s practice squad after punting for the Atlanta Legends of the AAF in 2019.
Nizialek served as Atlanta’s punter (and kickoff specialist) for the first four weeks of this season, punting 18 times for 817 yards, an average of 45.4 yards per kick. But he suffered a hamstring injury during Atlanta’s Week 4 game against Washington, giving longtime NFL veteran Dustin Colquitt the opportunity to extend his career. After a stint on injured reserve, the Falcons elected to waive Nizialek on November 9, 2021.
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