Steelers Begin Roster Cuts; Place Rookie T Jerald Hawkins On IR

The Pittsburgh Steelers will need to have their active roster down to 75 players by Tuesday and on Sunday the team announced several transactions that leave them with only a few more cuts to make.

For starters, rookie tackle Jerald Hawkins was placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured list and quarterback Dustin Vaughan was waived injured.

Hawkins, the Steelers fourth-round draft pick this year out of LSU, suffered a shoulder injury a few weeks ago. Vaughan, on the other hand, suffered a fractured thumb late in the Steelers second preseason game during a sack. He’ll revert to the team’s Reserve/Injured list after clearing waivers.

Waived outright on Sunday were punter Will Monday, linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, linebacker Mike Reilly, wide receiver Levi Norwood, tight end Michael Cooper, wide receiver Issac Blakeney, defensive end Giorgio Newberry, cornerback Julian Whigham, and defensive tackle Khaynin Mosley-Smith.

Zumwalt, a sixth-round pick in 2014, never had a real shot at a roster spot this year and was even moved to outside linebacker during training camp and the preseason.

The Steelers must trim their roster down to 75 players by Tuesday at 4 p.m.

  • Josh Gustad

    No surprises here. Hope everyone’s 53 man roster prediction is still intact lol

  • Kelly A

    I’m a little disappointed with Issac Blakeney getting cut. From my recollection, he rarely got any snaps during the preseason (maybe in first game against Detroit), aside from that, he didn’t get to really showcase what he can do which is plenty. Everyone else though comes as no surprise.

  • Caesar

    Well, I guess Hubbard and Finney both end up making the team with Hawkins on IR.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    hawkins on ir is disappointing.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    I remember people being extremely high on Zumwalt after we drafted him

  • thomas hmmmm

    He looked good in the few preseason games he played in his first two camps. The team dynamics have changed since he was drafted.

  • SteelersDepot

    I remember telling people they shouldn’t be.

  • Conserv_58

    I said the week I was at training camp that Zumwalt wouldn’t make it past the first round of cuts. He either has to find another position, (possibly TE) or forget any hope of playing in the NFL. As I’ve said before, physically, he’s tall and too lean. Therefore, he lacks the muscle mass and bulk to be an effective linebacker at this level. After watching him, literally, get jacked up and tossed backwards like a rag doll, after every rep in the backers against offensive linemen drill at camp, it was quite evident that he had better update his resume’. I actually found myself feeling sorry for him because it had to be excruciatingly embarrassing and humiliating to fail so completely.

  • Conserv_58

    Nah. The problem is Jordan didn’t change. He is far too lean for his hight. I’ve said before, that he looks more like that of a TE than a linebacker.

  • Conserv_58

    That’s to be expected with Steelers’ fans because every year there is at least one late round pick or free agent underdog that they select to root for. Last year it was Anthony Chickillo and justifiably so. This year it’s Tyler Matakevich, also rightly so. It makes training camp more fun.

  • thomas hmmmm

    Those injuries derailed him.

  • Conserv_58

    They only derailed him last off season. He had no excuse to show up at camp as lean as he is and expect to play linebacker for this team.

  • VinHuddle

    And my personal favorite, Howard Jones…still a little bitter at that one. Agree completely with you that it indeed makes for a more fun camp. Keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t see Matakevich’s name on any of these articles.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    Yeah. I never understood it. Some guys make since as the late round-undrafted pre season hero………in this case I just didn’t see any chance of him ever being anything for the steelers

  • Conserv_58

    If Tyler continues at the pace he’s at he’ll make the final 53. I currently have him tied with Fort and ahead of Johnson as being the two linebackers to make the team. Some may argue that Johnson would be ahead of Matakevich because of his experience, but I disagree because IMO, Matakevich has been impressive and he has a higher ceiling.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    zumwalt and jesse james have similar frame.

  • Michael James

    I’m disappointed to see Hawkins on IR. I really don’t like our OT-depth. Gilbert is great and Villanueva is ok, but Harris and Hubbard were terrible this preseason.

  • steeltown

    Sounds about right

  • J Jones

    Hate that hawkins is out, our 2nd team oline didnt inspire much confidence as is….damn!

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Dave, Alex & Matt all had Hawkins making the 53 on their pre-camp predictions. It sounded like he was progressing according to the reports. Hope he will have a chance to play next year.

  • steeltown

    Harris should ‘come around’ with more time in the system and with the other Olinemen

  • steeltown

    Harris, Wallace and Finney… better than some recent 2nd Team Lines in recent memory

  • J Jones

    I appreciate that optimism. At times this preseason they were downright painful to watch.

  • SteelersDepot

    None of us have refined the art of predicting injuries. Perhaps one day we will.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Matakevich reminds me of Jerry O. He is a grinder who love to have on your team…great special teamer and adequate sub.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Of course, I was just pointing out to Josh that there was a nasty surprise.

    What is amazing is that with all the injuries we have had so far – only 2 players have come from your preseason predictions – Golson and now Hawkins. That is actually a good sign, keeping my fingers crossed.

  • Josh Gustad

    Yeah I wasn’t counting the injury to Hawkins. Those are something nobody can predict.

  • Michael James

    I really hope so. He hasn’t been good so far.

  • NW86

    I’m a little surprised at Hawkins going to IR, didn’t realize his injury was that serious. I figured they had to make a move with either Vaughn or Grad this week – looks like maybe they think Grad is closer to coming back and could be carried on the 53. He wouldn’t dress week 1 even if he was healthy so it doesn’t really matter if he’s ready to go by that time.

    No other surprises here, but I’m willing to bet there will be a surprise or two in these last few cuts tomorrow. There always are.

  • Alex Kozora

    I said it last week! *shameless plug*

  • steeltown

    Atleast he has a history of good play at times. Hubbard on the other hand…

  • Steelers12

    Hopefully Practice Squad

  • Steelers12

    Finally, never saw much in Zumwalt

  • Kevin Reich

    He wasn’t ready to contribute. Blessing in disguise could give him a year to bulk up without using a roster spot.

  • William Weaver

    Slackers

  • William Weaver

    Perspective. He had a shot most of us don’t sniff.

  • JT

    Surprised to see Reilly in the first cut, but Rasco and Feeney did look good against the Saints. Regardless, we finally we get to leave behind the Zumwalt at OLB nightmare.

  • Spencer Krick

    Was a red shirt year for Hawkins anyway, I look forward to seeing how he looks next season.

  • Rotten Sircus

    Zumwalt will probably get some calls from other teams but not sure about the rest of these guys !

  • steeltown

    Yea Grad probably wont dress for the foreseeable future

  • Phil Brenneman II

    I only started to get high on him because the Steelers kept him around so long despite the injuries. I am not one to expect our coaches and stuff to always get it right but gave them a little bit of the benefit of the doubt on this one. Keep him around 3 years and even give him a nickname, thought there might have been a little more there but the dude was a ghost in these games.

  • steelmann58

    do you think the steelers will keep VAUGHN on their IR

  • Disappointing injury for sure. Im still looking for any excuse to cut Hubbard. I’m just not a fan.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    Money Pit isn’t a nick name I’d personally want lol

  • LucasY59

    Closest thing to a Veteran courtesy cut was Zumwalt, very predictable list of names here, no surprises

  • LucasY59

    The part that always confused me was that they had Drafted Shazier in the same Draft class, and had a 6th rd ILB the yr before that started games as a rookie, plus they were getting Spence back from injury, so his draft pick didnt make sense from the start, only way he has stuck around so long was his injuries

    (only guy I can see that mightve been a better pick was Seantrel Henderson, but the Steelers had 2 more chances to take him after they took Zumwalt, I wouldve taken McCullers with the Zumwalt pick, Henderson with the MuCullers pick, and the best UDFA they couldve gotten with the Blanchflower pick was Allen Hurns, but even a Josh Mauro pick would be good (If they dont put him on the PS and let him get poached) Brandon Coleman couldve been a WR/TE instead of Rob also, and Shaquille Barrett is another decent UDFA from 2014, of course looking back after 2 yrs its much easier to say who they shouldve taken)

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Oh no doubt. Still shows some level of comfort or…..Whatever lol.

  • Hypo Cycloid

    I agree with you conserve. I would go even farther and say that his BMI is the reason he was so injury prone. LBers play the most physical position in football, better not be too skinny!

  • John Pennington

    Maybe the steelers can find a backup tackle and cut Hubbard they can do better at that position than Hubbard

  • Shannon Stephenson

    maybe you will get better with age. 😉

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I did like what little I saw of Reilly but someone had to go.

  • Don Lowery

    i liked Zimwalt. He was a good crisp tackler if nothing else. They probably did him a solid to release him so quick though so he might catch on with another team.