Steelers activate Anthony McFarland while placing Cole Holcomb on IR
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced two expected roster moves on Monday as they prepare to take the field for a bonus practice after having three days off following their 20–16 victory Thursday night over the Tennessee Titans. The Steelers announced they have activated Anthony McFarland Jr. from the Designated To Return list and place linebacker Cole Holcomb on the Reserve/Injured List (IR).
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 6, 2023
McFarland returned to practice on Monday, October 16, which opened up his 21-day window to return to the Steelers 53-man roster or remain on IR for the rest of the season. This was the same day Diontae Johnson returned as well. While Johnson has been available for the Steelers the last three games, McFarland has been left as a full participant in practice but not coming back onto the roster. Only appearing in one game this season, Anthony McFarland has played five offensive snaps as well as seven special team snaps in 2023 and has zero rushing attempts but has two receptions for 11 yards and three kick returns for 91 yards.
Unfortunately, the news of Cole Holcomb being lost for the season came on Friday but was expected following the gruesome injury on Thursday night. Holcomb was with Minkah Fitzpatrick with the most tackles for the Steelers this season with 54 as well as having four tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. Additionally, Holcomb had two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and two passes defensed on the season. When it comes to on-field impact, Holcomb wore the green dot in the Steelers defense and was a key communicator on the field.
Exactly how the Steelers will feel the loss of Holcomb at the linebacker position is a question many Steelers fans are pondering. While Elandon Roberts and Kwon Alexander are both viable options, it is others within the rotation that are more questionable. Mark Robinson has appeared in all the Steelers games this season on special teams but only has four defensive snaps through eight games. The Steelers also have Mykal Walker and Kyron Johnson on the practice squad and could look to add another player in free agency.
Stay tuned to Steel Curtain Network’s continued coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare to host the Green Bay Packers this Sunday at Acrisure Stadium.