Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi was back on the practice field for the team’s final OTA practice of the week. As tweeted by ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, Ogunjobi joined his teammates for today’s session.
It’s only notable because it doesn’t appear Ogunjobi participated in the first two days of practice, leading Pryor to tweet out his presence today. It’s not clear why he wasn’t on the field Tuesday and Wednesday, perhaps it was a personal matter or some small injury. It’s certainly not a contract issue after re-signing with the Steelers this offseason, inking a three-year deal worth nearly $30 million in March, though it’s structured to give Pittsburgh “outs” along the way.
Signed in June of 2021 after a free agency deal with the Chicago Bears fell through due to a foot injury, Ogunjobi was eased into his role with Pittsburgh last season. But he was ready for Week One and started 16 games, recording 48 tackles and 1.5 sacks. While Ogunjobi was largely available, he consistently appeared on the practice report with nagging toe and other lower-body injuries that hindered his play. His sacks fell from seven in 2021 to just 1.5 in 2022. More encouragingly, he registered 19 pressures and his per-rush metrics looked better.
Still, his first season with the team ran hot and cold and he’ll look for more consistency in his second year with the team. With Pittsburgh, on paper at least, committing to Ogunjobi for the long-term, he’ll need to be more impactful more often this season. He’ll remain the team’s starter opposite Cam Heyward and log a high snap total.
Overall, the Steelers seem healthy to start the first week of OTAs. T.J. Watt wasn’t injured but returned after missing one practice. Free agent signings LB Cole Holcomb and WR Allen Robinson II were each coming off season-ending foot surgery but are working their way back. Holcomb hasn’t been cleared to practice in 11 v 11 but is working in positional groups while Robinson is at least doing the same. Staying healthy is obvious but key this time of year to hit the ground running come late July when the Steelers report to St. Vincent College.