The Pittsburgh Steelers made a somewhat surprising transaction Saturday morning that included them swapping out running backs.
Signed off the team’s practice squad Saturday morning was running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, who spent the entire 2016 season on the team’s 53-man roster. To make room for Toussaint on the roster, running back Terrell Watson was waived.
Toussaint’s promotion to the 53-man roster might be related to rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster being ruled out for the team’s Sunday night home game against the Green Bay Packers with a hamstring injury. Smith-Schuster has been the team’s primary kickoff returner this season and that’s a role Toussaint played during the 2016 season.
Last season, Toussaint returned 13 kickoffs for 278 yards with a long of 33 yards. The former undrafted free agent also had 14 carries for 58 yards last season in addition to three receptions for another 33 yards.
It will also now be interesting to see if Toussaint is allowed to spell starting running back Le’Veon Bell some Sunday night. If there’s one thing that Toussaint does well it’s pass protect which is something that rookie running back James Conner still needs to work hard on.
As for Watson, who has dressed for all 11 games this season for the Steelers after making the team out of training camp, he should clear waivers and might ultimately be signed to the practice squad next week if the team decides to keep Toussaint on the 53-man roster. On the season, Watson has five carries for 8 yards in his very limited offensive playing time.