If you see Karl Joseph on gameday again, don’t look for his #30. According to the Steelers’ website, Joseph is now wearing #8 which became available after Melvin Ingram was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday.
Joseph had worn #30 since being signed to the Steelers’ practice squad right before the start of the season. He’s been elevated to the active roster just once, logging two defensive snaps against the Denver Broncos in Week One. He had another six on special teams. Joseph failed to log any stats in his Steelers’ debut.
#8 is a familiar number for him. It’s the number he wore at West Virginia, a successful career that made him the 14th overall pick of the 2016 drafted, selected by the Raiders. Until this year, defensive backs weren’t allowed to wear single-digit jersey numbers. But the league decided to relax that rule, opening up the chance for guys like Ingram and Joseph to sport numbers typically reserved for quarterbacks.
It’s unknown if Joseph will log another snap for the Steelers this season. He’s been on the practice squad all year, save for that Week 5 elevation before returning to the practice squad the following day. Pittsburgh could elevate him one more time without having to sign him to the 53 man roster. It will likely take another injury to get Joseph another look. He played against the Broncos with CB Cam Sutton sitting out. In that game, Joseph’s two snaps came in the second quarter. Aligned in the slot, he blitzed once and dropped into coverage. He did not record a pressure and was not targeted.
In his career, Joseph has appeared in 64 games, making 49 starts. Over that span, he’s registered 303 total tackles, picked off five passes, and has three sacks. He spent his first four years with the Raiders before signing with the Browns for 2020. After visiting Pittsburgh this offseason, he returned to the Raiders but was released at final roster cutdowns. The Steelers put him on their practice squad shortly thereafter.
Pittsburgh traded Ingram to the Chiefs earlier this week for a conditional 2022 6th round selection after Ingram wanted to play a more prominent role.