On Monday the Pittsburgh Steelers placed tight end Vance McDonald on the COVID-19 Reserve list, so the team is currently looking to add depth at the position. With that in mind, the Steelers recently worked out tight end Charles Jones II.
Jones came into the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane after the 2019 NFL Draft. He spent the majority of his rookie year on Jacksonville’s practice squad but was promoted to the 53-man roster in November 2019. He caught one pass for five yards, while also playing a limited role on special teams.
This summer Jones had two separate stints on Jacksonville’s COVID-19 Reserve list before he was waived from injured reserve (quad/foot) with an injury settlement. In late October he had a workout with the Buffalo Bills, who subsequently signed him to their practice squad, but he was released just three days later. The New England Patriots reportedly had Jones in for a workout earlier this week.
Charles Jones’ Career with the Tulane Green Wave
In 40 games at Tulane, the New Orleans native—6-foot-4 and 255 pounds—made 22 starts, where he caught a total of 51 passes for 407 yards and eight touchdowns. Jones played on the same high school team as Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette, who was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. In fact, Jones was taken in by Fournette’s family while they were teammates at St. Augustine High School in 2013.
Steelers Expect to Have Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday
In other news from Thursday, Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner indicated that the team is preparing as if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be starting on Sunday against the Bengals. At the moment, Roethlisberger remains on the COVID-19 Reserve list along with four other players, but if he continues to test negative and doesn’t develop symptoms, he could come off the list on Saturday and take part in that day’s walk-through.
Meanwhile, second- and third-string quarterbacks Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs are both getting reps with the first team offense. “Mason is taking reps. Josh is taking reps,” said Fichtner. “I don’t know if it’s equal reps, but we’re preparing both just like we would every week. They just get a few more reps this week on Thursday and Friday.”
On Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made a very revealing statement about the team’s backup quarterback situation when he didn’t commit to starting Rudolph if Roethlisberger is unable to go on Sunday.
Coming into the season one longtime NFL analyst identified Pittsburgh’s backup quarterback situation as one of the biggest roster holes in the NFL. In an effort to upgrade the depth at the position, the Steelers re-signed Josh Dobbs after he was waived by the Jaguars on September 5th.
The Steelers traded Dobbs after Week One last season, which opened the door for fourth-string QB Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges to appear in eight games in 2019.
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