Rookie UDFAs Skipper, Johnson Both Stick On Steelers Initial 53-Man Roster For 2019

The Pittsburgh Steelers cut down their roster to 53 active players on Saturday and this year’s initial group includes two rookie undrafted free agents sticking.

Much to the delight of most all Steelers fans, outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper and guard Fred Johnson both made the Steelers initial 53-man roster after putting together nice training camps and preseasons.

Skipper, who was signed to the Steelers 90-man roster after being invited to participate in the annual rookie minicamp, led the entire NFL in sacks during the preseason with five. The Toledo product played in all four preseason games and additionally registered 16 total tackles, 7 quarterback hits, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He also recorded two special teams tackles in the preseason finale.

With Skipper now making the initial 53 man roster it will be interesting to see if he ultimately dresses for the regular season opener against the New England Patriots. With outside Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (knee) still recovering from meniscus surgery, Skipper might just avoid the Steelers seven-man inactive list to open the season.

As for Johnson, who was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Florida, he also had a nice showing during the preseason at both guard spots and played a lot of snaps in the process throughout the four games. Johnson can be groomed throughout the 2019 season to potentially take over as a starter whenever guard Ramon Foster ends his career. Foster is currently signed through the 2020 season.

The Steelers have had a great run at developing their own former undrafted offensive linemen over the years as Foster, Alejandro Villanueva, B.J. Finney, Chris Hubbard and Doug Legursky are just a few examples of that.

In all likelihood, Johnson will likely join tackle Zach Banner on the Week 1 inactive list.


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