The Pittsburgh Steelers entered training camp feeling as though they had an abundance of talent at the wide receiver position, even following the Antonio Brownectomy that removed the cancer from the team’s system. It’s certainly not looking that way right now, even if largely due to injuries.
Right now, basically the only wide receiver who matters who can suit up and play a game today is second-year wide receiver James Washington, who has now strung together three solid games, during which span he has caught 13 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown, now with 23 receptions for 369 yards on the season.
JuJu Smith-Schuster took two shots to the head on the same play on Thursday night and is in the concussion protocol. Diontae Johnson took a blow to the head significant enough that it caused his ear to be cut, and for the perpetrator of the hit to be ejected from the game.
That is already after releasing Donte Moncrief and placing Ryan Switzer on the Reserve/Injured List. The only person who started the season on the 53-man roster I haven’t mentioned yet is Johnny Holton, who has one reception for 22 yards on 13 targets on the year. He’s averaging 1.7 yards per target. I would guess about 3 inches per route run.
The Steelers just called up Tevin Jones from the practice squad, and that’s not a good thing, at least relative to the state of the offense. So it’s not surprising that people are volunteering to help, among them Jeannette native Terrelle Pryor.
Pryor, who came out of Ohio State as a quarterback, was a third-round pick in the supplementary draft in 2011 by the Oakland Raiders. He finally began to accept that a transition to wide receiver was necessary while with the Cleveland Browns in 2015.
Pryor had one strong season as a wide receiver in 2016, catching 77 passes for 1007 yards and four touchdowns, but injuries and a variety of struggles have held him back since then. The 30-year-old has caught just 36 passes since then for 492 yards and four touchdowns.
He was signed in the offseason by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but was placed on the Reserve/Injured List at the end of August. Waived three days later, he has remained a free agent since then.
“Home town kid, thirsty, black and gold I’m ready to go!”, he posted in an Instagram story. The Steelers did have interest in him when he came out of college, and even reportedly when he was a free agent in 2017.
— Steelers Depot 🦃🍗🍽🙏 (@Steelersdepot) November 16, 2019
Things have not gone particularly well for him since then. Things are not going particularly well for the Steelers at wide receiver right now, either. But they have their top three players, at least. Once they get healthy again.