Following NFL roster cuts, the Pittsburgh Steelers started to assemble their 16-man practice squad for the 2023 season. While some fans could care less about these signings, the practice squad players can prove to be important. These guys are the 'minutemen,' if you will. If injuries occur or if a player is cut, they need to be prepared to take the field on a moment's notice.
Obviously, we hope that nobody needs to be called up. If the practice squad isn't used, it's probably a good sign that players on the roster are staying healthy and that everyone is performing well. But we know better. Unfortunately, injuries happen in this league, so it's important for teams to have a plan 'B'.
The Steelers are still putting their finishing touches on their 2023 practice squad, here's every player officially signed to the practice squad this year.
Steelers practice squad 2023:
- RB Greg Bell
- RB Qadree Ollison
- FB Zander Horvath
- WR Simi Fehoko
- WR Dez Fitzpatrick
- TE Rodney Williams
- OT Kellen Diesch
- OG Joey Fisher
- DT Breiden Fehoko
- DL Jonathan Marshall
- ED David Perales
- LB Tariq Carpenter
- CB Anthony Brown
- CB Luq Barcoo
- CB Josiah Scott
- S Trenton Thompson
The first thing you probably notice is all of the returning faces that you were familiar with this summer. The Pittsburgh Steelers have spent half of their total practice squad spots bringing back players who were with them during training camp and the preseason this summer. This isn't an uncommon occurrence, and sometimes the squad has even more players they are familiar with.
There are a few names that should have fans excited. Simi Fehoko is the cousin of DT Breiden Fehoko (who was on the Steelers summer roster before being stashed on the practice squad). Simi couldn't be much more different, however, as he is an athletic wide receiver. At nearly 6'4'' and 222 pounds, Fehoko possesses 4.44 speed and 10 1/4'' hands, via Mockdraftable. Fehoko was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but there simply wasn't room for him on the roster this year.
The Steelers landed another former Cowboy in cornerback Anthony Brown. This is a very interesting signing, as Brown is a former long-time starter since entering the league back in 2016. Brown started 69 of 94 games -- all as a member of the Dallas Cowboys -- and recorded 324 tackles, 9 interceptions, and 59 passes defended, per Pro Football Reference.
Brown has a whopping 4,845 defensive snaps and 505 special teams snaps under his belt. The former Purdue CB had 4.35 speed entering the league, and at 29 years old, his athleticism still pops. Fans have the right to wonder if he would be an upgrade over James Pierre on the roster for the final cornerback spot.
Fans should also be pleased to see that David Perales has circled back to the Steelers practice squad. Perales had a strong summer as an edge rusher, but there simply wasn't enough room for him on the roster with Nick Herbig and Markus Golden added to the roster this past offseason. Likewise, Trenton Thompson was one of Pittsburgh's standout defenders during the preseason who made the squad. It's possible he gets promoted to the Steelers roster at some point this season.
NOTE: Steelers practice squad list is being updated as signings come in.