The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Heinz Field and the gamesmanship ahead of that contest took an interesting turn Thursday morning.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Broncos have signed outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo off of the New Orleans Saints practice squad. Chickillo, who was originally selected by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Miami, played in Pittsburgh the previous five seasons. The Steelers released Chickillo back in March.
The Broncos addition of Chickillo is likely threefold. For starters, Chickillo is an accomplished core special teams player and thus can help the Broncos some in that phase of the game. Secondly, Chickillo will provide the Broncos some extended depth at the outside linebacker position following the loss of Von Miller for the remainder of the season a few weeks ago. Lastly, Chickillo will likely be able to provide the Broncos some sort of usable intel on the Steelers defense ahead of Sunday’s meeting between the two teams.
Chickillo will know one of his new teammates upon entering the Broncos locker room as inside linebacker Mark Barron is also on Denver’s roster. Barron was with the Steelers last season and played extensively.
Will Chickillo wind up being active for Sunday’s game? Odds are probably good he will be. In his five seasons with the Steelers, Chickillo registered 97 total tackles and 7.5 sacks and made nine total starts. He was primarily used as a backup rotational player and as a core special teamer during his time in Pittsburgh.