Included in the several transactions made Tuesday morning by the Pittsburgh Steelers was the promotion of running back Trey Edmunds to the 53-man roster from the team’s practice squad. That move was likely partly made due to starting running back James Conner being unable to play this coming Sunday due to an ankle injury he suffered late in Sunday’s home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Additionally, Edmunds, whose younger brother is Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds, the team’s first-round draft pick this year, is mainly being added to the 53-man roster to help on special teams.
During his Tuesday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Trey Edmunds and what he’s seen so far out of the former 2017 undrafted free agent out of Maryland by way of Virginia Tech.
“I’ve seen a good skillset, I’ve seen a willing participant,” Tomlin said. “I’ve seen a guy who’s shown a skillset that’s maybe geared toward special teams – that’s potentially not a really common thing at the running back position. I know he earned his stripes in New Orleans in that capacity. So, forget what he’s able to provide us as a runner, this is a guy who’s going to be in uniform that has a resume that’s centered around some special teams contributions. And so, he’ll be given an opportunity there first and foremost, but I haven’t been displeased with what I’ve seen from him as a runner.”
Edmunds, who was signed to the Steelers practice squad just prior to the start of the 2018 regular season, spent his entire 2017 rookie season on the 53-man roster of the New Orleans Saints. In limited offensive snaps with the Saints in 2017, Edmunds carried the football 9 times for 48 yards and a touchdown in his team’s win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 10. That long touchdown run you can see below.
Also as a member of the Saints in 2017, Trey Edmunds certainly made an impact on special teams as he finished his rookie season with 7 total tackles and that was third-most on the team. If that’s not enough, Trey Edmunds also returned 3 kickoffs for 65 yards with a long of 27 as a member of the Saints in 2017. On Tuesday, Tomlin asked if Trey Edmunds being a returner is a possibility.
“We’ll see. We’ve got some work ahead of us this week, particularly with the division of labor and our use of running backs and so forth,” Tomlin said.
This figures to be an interesting week or two for Trey Edmunds while Conner nurses himself back to full health. While he’s unlikely to play any offensive snaps in the next game or so, he’s sure to get a lot of special teams burn, which is something that veteran running back Stevan Ridley doesn’t currently get.
In summation Edmunds might just stick on the Steelers 53-man roster the remainder of the season if he can make his mark on special teams starting Sunday in Oakland and if rookie running back Jaylen Samuels has a strong game on offense in place of Conner as well. Both of those things happening could ultimately made Ridley expendable whenever Conner is back to full health.