Melvin Ingram’s new number with the Pittsburgh Steelers isn’t yet known but we know what jersey you’ll find OG Trai Turner and K Sam Sloman wearing this summer. According to the team website, Turner will wear #51 for the Steelers. Sloman will wear #16.
Turner was signed to presumably be the Steelers’ starting right guard and replace David DeCastro, released after needing a third surgery to repair bone spurs in his ankle. Turner will wear #51, last worn by LB Avery Williamson, acquired in a trade with the New York Jets last season. Fourth round rookie Buddy Johnson has also been assigned #51. Other Steelers to wear that number in team history include: LB Sean Spence, LB James Farrior, and LB Loren Toews.
According to the team media guide, Turner is the first offensive lineman to wear #51 since Chuck Lanza in 1989. Lanza appeared in 27 games for the Steelers, never starting a game. Turner is a five-time Pro Bowler coming off an injury-marred year with the Los Angeles Chargers, who released him this offseason.
Sloman was signed to the offseason roster on July 1st. He’ll give Chris Boswell’s leg a rest during a preseason that includes four exhibition games with the Steelers partaking in the Hall of Fame game early next month. Sloman appeared in eight games last year, seven with the Los Angeles Rams, and went 8/11 on his total field goals and 23/26 on extra points.
His odds of making the roster are incredibly small and will require a Boswell injury. Kicker Matthew Wright wore #16 last season for the Steelers.
If Ingram wants his old #54 jersey, he’ll have to take it from third-year linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III. It’s also possible that Ingram chooses #6, the number he wore at South Carolina. New NFL rules have given players much more flexibility in the jersey numbers they can wear, including defenders wearing single-digits.