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Adrian Ealy Was Suspended For 6 Weeks in 2021
Ealy, 23, played his college football at Oklahoma, where he was a two-year starter for the Sooners (2019-20) and was a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2019 (by the league’s head coaches) and in 2020 (by coaches and media). He revealed his decision to attend Oklahoma in what Steelers beat reporter Brooke Pryor has described as an “insane commitment video,” one which can be seen on YouTube.
Ealy — who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 321 pounds — started his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens, who signed him as an undrafted free agent following the 2021 NFL Draft. After failing to make Baltimore’s 53-man roster, he was added to the Ravens practice squad. But his rookie season was interrupted when he was suspended without pay for six games for a performance-enhancing drug (PED) violation.
After he was reinstated on November 22, 2021, he joined the Denver Broncos practice squad, and subsequently spent time on the practice squads of the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers, with a brief second stint with the Ravens coming in between.
Ealy went on to sign a one-year Reserve/Futures contract with the Rams in February 2022, but he was waived by the Super Bowl champions last week.
To make room for Ealy on the 85-man roster, the Steelers waived offensive tackle Jordan Tucker, whose release was entirely predictable, as he did not play on offense in either of the team’s preseason games.
Tucker, who played his college football at North Carolina, was one of three undrafted free agent offensive linemen that the Steelers signed in the wake of the 2022 draft. The other two — offensive guard Chris Owens (Alabama) and Jake Dixon (Duquesne) — were waived earlier this month.
According to Steelers.com, Ealy will wear No. 68 with the Steelers.
At this moment, Pittsburgh has 85 players on its roster; as with all the rest of the teams in the league, the Steelers will need to cut down to 80 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
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Mason Cole: We Have to ‘Play to Win the Rep(s)’
Meanwhile, offensive line play remains Pittsburgh’s biggest concern heading into this weekend’s preseason finale against the Detroit Lions, a game that will be televised nationally on CBS at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
“Steelers running backs had 10 rushes for 10 yards, the top two quarterbacks were pressured on eight of 15 drop backs (per Pro Football Focus), noted Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in a brief overview of the team’s offensive line play against the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Saturday. In addition, “there were three holding penalties on the offensive line, four times the quarterback was hit, once he was sacked and another pressure forced a safety.”
On Monday, free agent acquisition Mason Cole blamed the line’s subpar performance against Jacksonville on technique-related issues, with a lack of confidence being a contributing factor.
Cole told ESPN’s Brooke Pryor that “our effort is there, our abilities are there. We know we can use right technique. We’ve just gotta trust ourselves in using the technique and really play to win the rep, not play to not lose.”
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