2020 South Side Questions: Is Jerald Hawkins On Verge Of Returning To Pittsburgh?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.

Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.

As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion

Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Is Jerald Hawkins on the verge of reuniting with the Steelers?

It’s a time of family feelings in Pittsburgh. Already, the team’s current 53-man roster and practice squad includes three players who were on the 53-man roster a year ago but not with the team until at least the start of the training camp.

Joshua Dobbs was claimed off waivers. Sean Davis was re-signed after being released by Washington. Jayrone Elliott, who spent five games on the roster last year, is on the practice squad, and is one of the four players they protected last week.

Could Jerald Hawkins be the next former Steeler to return to the fold? With Zach Banner inevitably due to be placed on injured reserve, there will be an opening that will surely be used on an offensive lineman. Hawkins is a tackle who knows their system.

He was listed on the transaction report yesterday as having terminated his practice squad contract with the Texans, which basically means that he is signing to a 53-man roster. I’m honestly not sure if that designation can even mean anything else other than that. He was not listed as having signed with a specific team yet, however, which is not uncommon until a signing is made official. I am betting that we hear news of him joining a 53-man roster today. Whose roster? We’ll see.

They only traded him last year once it became obvious that he was not going to make the 53-man roster with Alejandro Villanueva, Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor, and Banner, and they were able to get slight draft compensation for him in 2021, flipping late-round picks.

Now he could be brought back and be the Steelers’ swing tackle, with Feiler at left guard, Banner on injured reserve, and Okorafor in the starting lineup. It would be an interesting circuitous route to get there, to say the least, especially considering wasn’t on the roster.

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