2021 South Side Questions: Will Khalil Davis Make His Way To 53-Man Roster?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.

They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom are starting.

There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.

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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: Will defensive lineman Khalil Davis find his way to the 53-man roster, and if so, when?

While the Steelers did not trade for anybody this week, they did add a player to their team, signing second-year Khalil Davis to the practice squad. A 2020 sixth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he is the twin brother of Pittsburgh’s seventh-round pick last year, Carlos Davis.

This is the second time since the start of the regular season Khalil had become available. He was waived by the Buccaneers in early October, and four teams put in a waiver claim for him, including the Steelers, but he was awarded to the Indianapolis Colts. They waived him last week after getting a veteran defensive lineman back from the Non-Football Injury List.

This time, however, the Steelers didn’t put in a claim for him; in fact, nobody did, and now he is on the Steelers’ practice squad. Yet the fact that they were willing to put in a claim for him a month ago means that they were, at that time, willing to carry him on their 53-man roster.

Will he wind up back there? Pittsburgh has only had five defensive linemen on the 53-man roster for the past week or two, and have only had five healthy for most of the season. Carlos has been injured since week two, and will have to miss at least two more games on the Reserve/Injured List.

But would he even dress? Isaiahh Loudermilk seems to have earned a role for now while there are injuries. Henry Mondeaux would be the player who becomes vulnerable to the other Davis, I would imagine. But first they have to see what he can do and get him up to speed on the playbook, though he has his brother to help out.

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