Steelers Could Be Waiting To Add Running Back

You could make a good argument that the biggest hole on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster entering the 2022 season is the backup running back position. Behind Najee Harris, Pittsburgh has Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland and Trey Edmunds alongside UDFAs Jaylen Warren and Mateao Durant. With a crop of free agent running backs that includes former Chargers’ RB Justin Jackson and RB Carlos Hyde, it would stand to reason that the Steelers add someone to the room sooner rather than later. 

With a full 90-man roster, the Steelers may prefer to wait until training camp and the preseason before cutting someone to bring in a running back. With roster cuts happening around the league, Pittsburgh could potentially wait and pounce on a running back cut by another team during the preseason if they believe he would be a better option than anything out there right now. 

Another reason Pittsburgh could wait is to give one of Durant or Warren a better chance to make the roster and potentially have a somewhat significant role. The reality is, if another running back is brought in now, he would likely take a roster spot away from one of the two. Even if that wasn’t the case, their work in training camp would go down due to the fact there’s another running back who needs snaps. 

To me, it’s significant that the Steelers brought in two different running backs as UDFAs. It signals that they really believe at least one of them could crack the opening 53-man roster, likely as the third running back. There’s a precedent for undrafted running backs succeeding in the NFL, with names like Fred Jackson, Arian Foster and Priest Holmes all becoming very talented players after going undrafted. Pittsburgh doesn’t need that sort of production out of Durant or Warren, but that potential for one of them to be a potential gem is absolutely there. 

I do think that even if neither Durant nor Warren end up making the roster, the Steelers really want to see what they can do in preseason and training camp to give them a fair shake to potentially stand out and earn a spot on the 53-man roster. It also wouldn’t really shock me if Pittsburgh added a veteran running back late in camp who gets cut from another organization if they believe it would elevate the running back room. 

As it stands right now, I don’t really think Pittsburgh has enough to effectively spell Najee Harris. Whether it’s one of the UDFAs or an outside free agent, be it Jackson, Hyde or someone we haven’t considered yet, I would be very surprised if there wasn’t a better option than Anthony McFarland or even Snell on the 53-man roster entering 2022.

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