The Pittsburgh Steelers waived outside linebacker Derrek Tuszka on Thursday and on Friday he was claimed off waivers by the Tennessee Titans, according to the NFL transaction sheet.
While Tuszka made the Steelers’ initial 53-man roster on Tuesday, the former undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State was waived on Thursday to make room for outside linebacker Jamir Jones, who had been claimed off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After spending the majority of his rookie 2020 season serving as a special teamer for the Denver Broncos, Tuszka failed to survive the team’s final roster cut ahead of the 2021 season. The Steelers signed Tuszka to their practice squad at the start of the 2021 regular season, but due to injuries, elevated him to the 53-man roster by the end of September.
Tuszka played in 15 regular season games for the Steelers in 2021 in addition to the team’s lone playoff game. He registered two sacks, 18 total tackles, two quarterback hits, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble in 247 regular season snaps played on defense and 194 snaps on special teams. In the playoff loss, he played 10 defensive snaps and 24 special teams snaps on his way to recording two tackles with one resulting in lost yardage.
In the recently completed 2022 preseason, Tuszka registered seven total tackles on defense and one other on special teams. He was credited with two passes defensed in the 101 snaps played on defense during the preseason. He also logged 22 special teams snaps during the team’s three preseason games.
The Titans had a need at outside linebacker after losing starter Harold Landry to a torn ACL on Thursday. The Titans placed Landry on their Reserve/Injured list on Friday. The Titans also currently have former Steelers outside linebackers Bud Dupree and Ola Adeniyi on their 53-man roster.
Had the Titans not lost Landry, it’s a good bet that Tuszka would have cleared waivers on Friday and possibly then been signed to the Steelers’ practice squad.