Now that the regular season has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the offseason and the regular season as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: DL Khalil Davis
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: Reports surfaced yesterday evening that defensive lineman Khalil Davis, twin brother of Steelers second-year defensive lineman Carlos Davis, is signing to the team’s practice squad.
As with I’m sure every other team in the league, the Steelers never stop keeping track of the players that they liked during the draft process. Nebraska defensive lineman Khalil Davis was one of those players last year; in fact, they liked him so much that they drafted his twin brother a round after he himself was drafted, originally taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Round 6, with whom he won the Super Bowl.
The Buccaneers waived Davis in early October this year, however; the Steelers put in a waiver claim for him, but he was instead awarded to the Indianapolis Colts, who waived him on Saturday. Apparently, Pittsburgh wasn’t interested enough to put in another waiver claim for him this time, but he cleared waivers, and is now being signed to the practice squad.
That is more advantageous, since when you claim a player off waivers, you have to immediately put him on your 53-man roster and must pay him three weeks’ salary, whether he remains on the roster or not. Still, it’s reasonable to believe he will find his way to the 53-man roster in time either way.
For the moment, his twin brother is on the Reserve/Injured List, and must be there for at least two more weeks; until he comes back, Pittsburgh is operating with only five defensive linemen on the 53-man roster, with Henry Mondeaux, having started the season on the practice squad, being the fifth.
They will eventually have to bring back Stephon Tuitt whenever he is ready, of course, and Carlos would make six even if we assume that Mondeaux is eventually waived. Once everybody is healthy, might we still see both Davis brothers on the Steelers’ 53-man roster by the end of the season?
Pittsburgh certainly has depth for the future. Under contract for the 2022 season are Cameron Heyward, Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Tuitt, Chris Wormley, Isaiah Buggs, Isaiahh Loudermilk, Carlos Davis, and Mondeaux; and now potentially add Khalil Davis to the mix.