With several cornerbacks currently dealing with injuries during training camp, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed cornerback JaCorey Shepherd ahead of the team’s Saturday practice. To make room on the roster for Shepherd, rookie defensive end Nelson Adams was waived.
The Steelers felt the need to sign Shepherd with cornerbacks Artie Burns (undisclosed), Cameron Sutton (hamstring) and Senquez Golson (hamstring) all currently dealing with injuries. Burns is the latest of that group to go down as he was injured during the team’s Friday Night Lights practice. After the session was over, head coach Mike Tomlin said he thought Burns’ injury was minor in nature.
Shepherd, who played his college football at Kansas, was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. A torn ACL in August of 2015 quickly ended Shepherd’s rookie season and he was ultimately waived by the Eagles just ahead of the 2016 regular season and spent a few weeks on their practice squad.
The San Francisco 49ers signed Shepherd last season and waived him this past May.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound cornerback tried to run his pro day 40-yard dash with an injured hamstring and he feels that caused him to slip into later rounds of the draft that year.
A converted wide receiver, Shepherd played in 24 games during his final two seasons at Kansas. He intercepted five passes for 32 yards and a touchdown and also returned 61 kickoffs for 1,320 yards during those two seasons. He was credited with 75 total tackles.
In 11 games with the 49ers in 2016, Shepherd recorded 21 kickoff returns for an average of 21.7 yards a return.