On Monday we learned that the Pittsburgh Steelers had former Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Trevor Williams in for a workout, hot on the heels of the news that starting cornerback Joe Haden had tested positive for COVID-19 and would not be unavailable until after this weekend’s Wild Card playoff game.
Today the Steelers announced that they have signed Williams to the practice squad. To make room for him, the club released long snapper/linebacker Christian Kuntz.
Kuntz has been on and off the practice squad in the second half of the season. In fact, the team added him back to the squad just seven days ago, less than a week after waiving him to make room for tight end Kevin Rader, who made his NFL debut in the season finale against the Browns.
Kuntz was with the Steelers earlier this year but failed to make the 53-man roster out of training camp. The team first signed him to the practice squad on November 24th.
About Trevor Williams
As for Williams (5-foot-11, 191 pounds), he came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in 2016. It wasn’t long before he worked himself into a starting cornerback job with the San Diego—and then Los Angeles—Chargers. But he’s had all manner of injuries during his relatively short NFL career (knee, quad, ribs), and an inability to stay healthy ultimately led to his release by the Chargers.
Williams’ best season came in 2017 when he started 15 games for the Chargers and was responsible for 48 solo tackles, plus two interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He has since spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday Pittsburgh held the first of three regular practices in anticipation of Sunday’s home playoff game against the Browns. According to Steelers.com, the team has 26 players with postseason experience and 27 who have yet to appear in a playoff game.
Part of succeeding in the playoffs involves doing everything possible to prepare, but not internalizing added pressure. Those players who haven’t yet experienced a postseason game have been getting advice from longtime veterans like quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has won two Super Bowls and been to a third.
“It’s nice hearing … from someone who can tell you weeks in advance what to prepare for to make sure you have the best performance in the playoffs,” rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool told Steelers.com.
“I don’t want to say it’s just another football game because obviously there are a lot bigger things on the line,” added Claypool, who recently won the team’s 2020 Joe Greene Great Performance Award. “You don’t want to let the game get to your head, to your preparation. Just keep doing what you have been doing every week.”
“Yes, it’s a big game, you want to win,” said second-year wide receiver Diontae Johnson. “You have to make sure you aren’t overthinking because that is going to take you out of your game because you are going to have so much stuff going through your head and you are not going to be yourself out there.”
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