Steelers activate Pat Freiermuth to the 53, make other roster moves
The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced their final roster moves ahead of their Week 11 matchup against the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday at 1 PM. The Steelers have activated tight end Pat Freiermuth from the Reserve/Injured List (IR). Additionally the Steelers have signed Mykal Walker to the 53-man roster and once again elevated linebacker Tariq Carpenter and safety Trenton Thompson from the practice squad. Also, the Steelers have placed safety Keanu Neal on IR.
We have activated TE Pat Freiermuth from the Reserve/Injured List to the active roster, signed LB Mykal Walker to the active roster, elevated LB Tariq Carpenter & S Trenton Thompson to the Active/Inactive roster from the practice squad, & placed S Keanu Neal on the…
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 18, 2023
Missing the last five games with a hamstring injury, Pat Freiermuth spent his four weeks on IR as he was attempting to come back after only missing one game only to re-aggravate the injury. Not a huge component of the Steelers offense through the first four games, Freiermuth only has eight receptions for 53 yards this season but has brought in two touchdowns. In fact, Freiermuth only has one game where he has double-digit receiving yards this season.
A fourth-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2020, Mykal Walker has 49 NFL games played with 20 starts in three seasons. Last season Walker started 12 games for the Falcons where he had 107 tackles, 1.0 sacks, and two interceptions. Walker was waived by the Falcons during training camp earlier this season and was claimed by the Chicago Bears. Failing to make the Bears 53-man roster, Walker spent several weeks on the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad before landing with the Steelers following their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Keanu Neal is in his first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he has appeared in all nine games with eight starts for the Steelers defense. This season Neal has 50 tackles, a fumble recovery, two passes defensed, and one interception which was the play he injured his ribs that will now knock him out for at least the next four games.
A seventh-round draft pick of the 2022 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, Tariq Carpenter came into the NFL as a safety. Appearing in 14 games where he had eight tackles, Carpenter only played 16 defensive snaps his rookie season with the Packers but logged 122 snaps on special teams. Transitioning to linebacker but failing to make the Packers 53-man roster this season, Carpenter has been on the Steelers practice squad as one of the original 16 players signed prior to Week 1. Elevated in Week 10, Carpenter did not see any snaps on defense but did play 10 special teams snaps where he had one tackle.
Trenton Thompson signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 draft with the New York Giants and made the team’s practice squad. Elevated for one game in 2022, Thompson saw 12 special team snaps. Waived at the beginning of training camp in 2023, the Steelers signed a Thompson during training camp. In three preseason games for the Steelers, Thompson played 77 snaps where he had one interception. Failing to make the 53-man roster, Thompson was one of the first players signed to the Steelers practice squad in August. Last week, Thompson was elevated from the practice squad and played seven snaps on defense and two on special teams.
The elevation of these players is not a surprise as the Steelers are dealing with injuries at both positions. With two safeties ruled out for the game in Minkah Fitzpatrick and Keanu Neal, Thompson is potentially in line to get the start. With Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander being knocked out for the season in consecutive weeks, the Steelersonly have two inside linebackers on the roster for Sunday’s game in Elandon Roberts and Mark Robinson.
Stay tuned to Steel Curtain Network’s continued coverage as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to take on the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.