Like every NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers have begun the inevitable process of tinkering with their initial 53-man roster for the 2022 season. Two days after releasing their initial roster, the Steelers placed rookie wide receiver Calvin Austin III and safety Damontae Kazee on injured reserve. Both players will be eligible to come off of IR prior to Pittsburgh's Week 5 matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
Austin suffered an injury during training camp, while Kazee sustained his injury during Sunday's preseason finale against the Detroit Lions.
In a corresponding move, the Steelers signed linebacker Marcus Allen and offensive lineman Trent Scott to the team's 53-man roster. Pittsburgh has also added three more players to its practice squad that include defensive back Mark Gilbert, the younger cousin of former All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. Gilbert, 25, spent time on the Steelers' practice squad last season after going undrafted last spring. He remained in Pittsburgh until the Lions signed him midway through the regular season. A former standout at Duke, Gilbert appeared in eight games for the Lions last season while recording his first career forced fumble.
The 139th pick in April's draft, Austin caught 19 touchdowns during his final season at Memphis. He was among the team's standout players during the early stages of training camp before sustaining his injury. Kazee, 29, displayed considerable versatility during his first training camp in Pittsburgh. He seemed to fit in well with first-year defensive coordinator Teryl Austin's system while allowing Minkah Fitzpatrick to go back to his role as a playmaker after spending most of the 2021 season as a pseudo linebacker.
The Steelers will open the 2022 season against the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 11. Cincinnati swept the season series last season for the first time since 2009 en route to winning its first AFC North division title since 2015. Despite their setbacks to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh still earned a wild card playoff berth after finishing the regular season with a 9-7-1 record.