The Pittsburgh Steelers have activated RB Anthony McFarland off their injured reserve/designated to return list today. In a corresponding move, the team placed DT Carlos Davis on IR.
The team also signed DT Chris Slayton to the practice squad. To make room, the team released RB Jaylen Samuels.
McFarland was placed on IR prior to the start of this season after suffering a torn MCL. The team did not release a RB to make room for him on the roster, giving them four RBs on the 53: Najee Harris, Benny Snell, Kalen Ballage, and McFarland in addition to FB Derek Watt. Yesterday, Mike Tomlin said McFarland would be activated this week but was unsure of what role he would gave Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
Davis has battled a knee injury for the majority of the season. Despite being limited in practice leading up to Week 6’s game against Seattle and the benefit of the bye, he evidently hasn’t healed enough. With this trip to IR, he will miss a minimum of three games.
Slayton was a 7th round pick of the New York Giants in the 2019 draft. A classic 5-3 build at 6’4, 307, he was regarded as a good run stopper coming out of Syracuse. In our East/West Shrine Game preview, Dave Bryan noted his versatility gave him extra value.
“He looks like he can play anywhere on the defensive line inside the offensive tackles and that includes playing directly over the center as a 0 or 1 technique defender.”
Samuels had served as a pass-catching back on the Steelers roster since being drafted in 2018 but failed to make the 53 this year, losing out to Snell and Ballage. As a Steeler, he carried the ball 131 times while recording 82 catches.