After six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers in which he held down the starting role as the punter and holder in the Steel City, veteran punter Jordan Berry made a surprise return to the black and gold earlier in the week, signing to the practice squad while second-year punter Pressley Harvin III is dealing with a hip injury.
Though Harvin has practiced in full the last two days ahead of Sunday’s Week 4 matchup with the New York Jets, the Steelers made the move to sign Berry as a precaution, ensuring that the Steelers have an experienced punter and holder in the fold in case Harvin can’t go, allowing Pittsburgh to elevate Berry on Saturday, should the need arise.
It might not be the most ideal situation for Berry to be in, now back in the place he once called home backing up the guy who was brought in to replace him, but it’s an opportunity nonetheless for the veteran punter, who was cut by the Minnesota Vikings in late August ahead of the final cutdown deadline.
“I was appraised of the situation (regarding Harvin) but bringing me in, they need the help and I was able to slot right in,” Berry said to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Chris Adamski earlier in the week, according to original reporting via the Tribune-Review. “(Kicker Chris Boswell), obviously has had me hold for him on and off for eight years, so he’s pretty comfortable with me. So it is what it is; I’ll come in and do what I can.”
To Berry’s credit, he stayed in shape while living in Kentucky, working out with his brother, Ryan, a punter at the University of Kentucky. Staying in shape, waiting for a call and ultimately getting one paid off for Berry, who is back in a familiar situation with the Steelers on special teams, which is still run by coordinator Danny Smith.
How long Berry sticks around on the practice squad depends on Harvin’s injury and how long it lingers. Chances are, with it being hip discomfort for a punter, that type of thing isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
Kudos to the Steelers for making a proactive move, ensuring that a vital part of special teams doesn’t falter due to injuries.