The Pittsburgh Steelers have now signed free agent running back Ben Tate after having him in for visit Tuesday. In order to make room for Tate on the 53 man roster, second-year wide receiver Justin Brown was waived.
Tate, who was originally drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Auburn, will now suit up for his third team this season after having already played for the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings in 2014.
Tate’s signing now gives the Steelers some experienced depth at the running back position now that starter Le’Veon Bell is currently dealing with a right knee injury suffered Sunday night in the win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
While Tate is now the most experienced healthy ball carrier currently on the Steelers roster, there’s a good chance that he might play second fiddle to rookie Josh Harris Saturday night when the team host the Baltimore Ravens in one of two AFC Wild Card games to be played this weekend.
In the eight games that Tate played in for the Browns earlier this season, he rushed for 333 yards and four touchdowns on 106 carries. He also caught nine passes for 60 yards while in Cleveland.
After being waived by the Browns in November, Tate was claimed by the Vikings and in the three games that he played in with them, he carried the football 13 times for 38 yards.
Tate has rushed for 10 yards or more on a single carry eight times this season. Conversely, 76 of his119 carries (63.9%) this season have gone for three yards or less with 29 (24.4%) of them going for no gain at all.
Tate will wear No. 34 for the Steelers.
Brown was the Steelers sixth-round draft pick in 2013 and he had been on the team’s 53 man roster all season. In the eight games that the Brown dressed for, he caught 12 passes for 94 yards.