After completing their initial 53-man roster ahead of Week 1, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed 15 players to their practice squad. Most were players they had cut from their own roster, but a few were signed off of waivers. One of them was former first-round safety Karl Joseph.
Karl Joseph could be an impactful player for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Karl Joseph met with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the offseason as a free agent but was reunited with the team that drafted him: the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders went with youth in their secondary and Karl Joseph was released with the final roster cuts. Pittsburgh still ended up with a player they had an interest in just a few months prior.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to sign Karl Joseph to the active roster, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. There is a six-day COVID-19 protocol period in which they need to wait to end first and the team would have to make a roster move to make room for Karl Joseph. NT Carlos Davis and LB Christian Kuntz could both be options to send down to the practice squad to replace Joseph.
Pittsburgh’s secondary could use a jolt heading into the season with a clear lack of experience. Karl Joseph could serve as depth behind starter Terrell Edmunds or he could possibly work as a nickel cornerback like safety Antoine Brooks Jr. did in 2020. Durability is a red flag for Karl Joseph, but he isn’t expected to be a full-time starter. He could still contribute on the field in certain situations and roles while also helping with younger players like Tre Norwood‘s development.
With Cameron Sutton now projected to play on the outside, the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t have much of a nickel CB. Karl Joseph isn’t guaranteed to be on the field much, but the lack of real NFL experience could force him to step up.
The Steelers’ first game is against the Buffalo Bills and QB Josh Allen should be targeting this secondary. Karl Joseph can rotate in and out with the safeties and nickel cornerbacks to keep fresh legs on the field. As a former first-round pick in 2016 and only 27 years old, Karl Joseph could be an impactful player if he can stay healthy and shows he still has confidence in himself.
As a sidenote, the Pittsburgh Steelers will now have four former first-round picks in their secondary.