Steelers Pluck Inside Linebacker Off Bengals Practice Squad

Tegray Scales Steelers

Joe Sargent/Getty Images Running back Nyheim Hines of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball as linebacker Tegray Scales of the Pittsburgh Steelers tries for the tackle on December 27, 2020.

On Saturday the Pittsburgh Steelers signed inside linebacker Tegray Scales off the Bengals practice squad. That could indicate that the Steelers expect neither Devin Bush Jr. nor Joe Schobert to be available for Monday night’s home finale against the Cleveland Browns. Both Bush and Schobert are on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, with Schobert sidelined just yesterday (December 31).

At least Scales, 25, is a familiar face. The former Indiana Hoosier signed a Reserve/Futures contract with the Steelers in January 2019 and remained with the team until final roster cuts at the end of the preseason. In 2020, he spent time on Pittsburgh’s practice squad and its active roster, appearing in four games, with almost all of his action coming on special teams. The Steelers brought him back again in 2021, but he was waived when Kevin Colbert & Co. traded for Joe Schobert on August 12 at the cost of a 2022 sixth-round pick.

Scales signed to the Bengals practice squad ten days ago after a tryout.

He originally entered the league following the 2018 NFL Draft, an undrafted free agent acquisition of the Los Angeles Rams. In college Scales played in 48 games and recorded 325 total tackles (218 solo), including 46 tackles for loss. He also recorded 18 sacks, intercepted eight passes and had 16 passes defensed, along with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

In addition to his stints with the Steelers, Bengals and Rams, Scales has also spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts (practice squad) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (practice squad). He has said that he plans to pursue a Mixed Martial Arts career after his NFL journey comes to an end.

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Isaiah Buggs Returns to the Active/Inactive Roster

In yet another roster move from Saturday January 1, the Steelers activated defensive end Isaiah Buggs from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The timing is fortuitous, as the team lost defensive end Chris Wormley to COVID-19 Reserve on New Year’s Eve.

Buggs—who was a sixth-round pick of the Steelers in the 2019 Draft—has played in ten games this year with six starts. Per Pro Football Reference, he has been credited with 17 tackles (five solo), including two tackles for loss.

On New Year’s Day the Steelers also restored safety Karl Joseph to the practice squad. Joseph was added to the practice squad Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday December 27.

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Finalists Announced For the 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

On Thursday December 30 the NFL announced the names of the eight finalists for the 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes those who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

The finalists (four players from each conference), are quarterback Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills), wide receiver Brandin Cooks (Houston Texans), defensive back Jason McCourty (Miami Dolphins), and wide receiver Matthew Slater (New England Patriots), plus linebacker Lavonte David (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), defensive end Cameron Jordan (New Orleans Saints), fullback Kyle Juszczyk (San Francisco 49ers) and wide receiver Adam Thielen (Minnesota Vikings).

Allen’s status as a finalist has drawn the most attention on social media, as “outstanding sportsmanship on the field (and) respect for the game and opponents” has not necessarily been his strong suit, as the following clips illustrate:

Then there’s this one, from the 2021 AFC Championship Game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs:

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was this year’s Steelers nominee for the award, which was created in 2014 but has never been won by a Steelers player.

The 2022 winner will be announced on February 10 at the NFL Honors awards show.

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