Steelers 2017 Practice Squad Tracker (Finalized)

With the waiver period over, the Pittsburgh Steelers and rest of the NFL are free to assemble their 10 man practice squad. We’ll update this list throughout as the names come in.

The team has announced their practice squad.

Practice Squad 

RB Fitzgerald Toussaint
WR Marcus Tucker
WR Justin Thomas
TE Jake McGee
C Kyle Friend
DL Lavon Hooks
ILB Matt Galambos
OLB Farrington Huguenin
CB Dashaun Phillips
S Jacob Hagen


Lavon Hooks has signed, per Jacob Klinger.

Matt Galambos has signed, too. The UDFA linebacker had a strong camp and appeared to beat out Keith Kelsey.

Safety Jacob Hagen has been signed to the practice squad, per multiple reports and confirmation by his agent. Seven spots left.

Fitzgerald Toussaint, still eligible for the practice squad due to an exemption rule, will be signed, per Jacob Klinger.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Steelers12

    I read Ayers said he won’t accept spot on practice squad if offered by Steelers

  • gdeuce

    so he would rather make no money?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Does he have some bigger plans?

  • Steelers12

    I have no clue, that’s just what i read

  • Bastiat

    If that’s true he’s letting his ego scramble his brain. I think he has a bright future in Pittsburgh, if not sometime this season then definitely next. He was hurt almost all of training camp, not being able to compete comes with consequences.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Wish he was healthy during camp just to see what kind of push he might’ve made for the PR job

  • Douglas Andrews

    Especially being hurt in the past two training camps

  • Steelers12

    I was hoping they would sign him as one

  • Alex Kozora

    We’ll see. Easy to say that before you’re cut.

  • RickM

    He probably would rather go to a team that isn’t stacked with good receivers. He would be spinning his wheels is he joined our PS, as opposed to joining the PS of a team with lesser receivers. I really like the guy but I don’t blame him a bit if that is his feeling. He needs to play to get his career going and he’d have a tough time getting into our line-up.

  • Steelers12

    He went unclaimed as well correct?

  • Steelers12

    Yeah but i think he has a spot on Steelers as a returner

  • RickM

    I think Eli will fill that role with AB being used selectively. Ayers returned a few good ones in Game 4 but they were against back-ups. Their college punt return averages were very similar. I just see Ayers stuck getting playing time barring several injuries. If he does end up back here I’d be thrilled. I just understand the way that he may be thinking. If he joins a PS of a team with far lesser receivers, he has a better chance of jump starting his receiving career.

  • Steelers12

    Yeah i see that as well. Chicago ought to be a primed destination for him

  • H.K. northern cali

    Start. Wonder who gets the first call up???

  • Rick McClelland

    I hear big talk from a lot of these players every year, but I don’t see any of them putting the time and effort in like AB to kick themselves to the top of the heap. Perhaps they are and we the fans just aren’t hearing about it.

  • Steelers12

    i suppose but i can see why he would go to another team, or WR core is stacked

  • Boots

    He has spent a good bit of time working with AB

  • Sam Clonch

    If another team wanted him, they would have claimed him. No one did.

  • capehouse

    NFL careers are fleeting, especially for fringe players like Ayers. You don’t burn bridges like that if he indeed said that like Jacob Klinger reported. Dri Archer made similar comments when he was cut by the Steelers and they wanted him on the PS.

  • Nolrog

    Of course he would, but if he gets an offer from the Steeler and no one else (even though unlikely) he turns it down?

  • Boots

    I realize he’s not a PS candidate, but Gerald Hodges was cut from the Bills

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Oh wow, surprising

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I read Jake McGee has been signed to the PS as well

  • RickM

    For sure, if his agent can’t hook him up with another team then yes coming back may be his only option if he wants an NFL paycheque.

  • Jim Foles

    he will play this year..

  • Boots

    I wouldn’t mind bringing him into the fold. I may be in the minority but after this preseason I’m not comfortable with Matakevich being one play away from starting!

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Agreed. I’m not even comfortable with Vince Williams starting. Both of their pass coverage skills are a liability.

  • capehouse

    My guesses for the PS this morning were Fitz, McGee, Hamilton, Tucker, Friend, Hooks, Huguenin, Galambos, Dixon, and Hagen. Not sure about Dixon, but he played well on specialteams and seemed ahead of the other CBs on the depth chart. Took Friend over Cooper because he plays Center. I believe Fitz is still eligible, and Hamilton/Tucker are too good not to carry even though there’s 6 WRs on the roster already.

  • John Pennington

    Was hoping for Jake McGee nothing so far.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    He’s signed. Site is behind.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    So far…..Hooks, Galambos, Hagen, Toussaint, McGee, and Tucker have been signed i believe.

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m glad Tucker stayed! He probably makes the 53 next year.

  • Alex Kozora

    Haven’t seen anything official on Tucker.

  • Rotten Sircus

    Toussaint can go ..( IMO ) I was never a fan of his !

  • Rotten Sircus

    Ayers can go as well. He’ll be selling insurance before the end of this season !!!

  • Matt Manzo

    I’d kinda like to see some fresh faces!

  • melblount

    Only seeing it on SteelersWire so far.

  • Andrew

    I would take him and cut Moats. Nothing against Moats, but I think the extra ILB depth is needed. Not likely though.

  • Steve Johnson

    I really don’t think he’s burning bridges, he just wants a chance to play and the reality is that probably will not happen in Pittsburgh.

  • Andrew

    I hope we sign an RB to the squad. Not a big fan of Fitz. Has really shown what he can offer. Time to move on.

  • Steve Johnson

    2018 Draft Wish? Safeties, ILB, CB, potential Franchise QB.

  • Steve Johnson

    Did anybody hear if Ayers was picked up?

  • Michael Conrad

    Well he screwed himself. No one claimed him and we have 10 on the PS.

  • Michael Conrad

    Nice PS they all deserve another look. Well not Turtlessaint.

  • Jonas

    No.

    When can they move Sutton to IR/Designated to Return? Maybe we’ll hear from Ayers then.

  • T R

    lol @ turtlessant. lol

  • Doogie

    Bell will take suttons place. But I still expect move moves.. Unless L Bell returns kicks then wed have top pay him for 3 positions!!!

  • s0v3r3i9n

    Tucker, McGee, Hagen, Galambos, Hooks, Huguenin … pretty much perfect. They all deserve another look.

  • LucasY59

    I thought Ethan Cooper had a better shot at making the PS than Friend, but It might be that the FO isnt that comfortable with Finney or Hubbard seeing significant snaps at Center if something happened to Pounce

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I’d rather have Ayers over McCullers

  • capehouse

    The reality is that attitude sucks and will most likely be his downfall.

  • Doogie

    Fitz is a 3rd stringer.. We know his upside. I think the 3 they have on the 53 are pretty good. But who returns kicks?

  • Doogie

    WHOS GOING TO RETURN KICKS?? Do I still have a chance?? Id use my battery powered walker..

  • T3xassteelers

    Yup, no Ayers. Disappointing. Justin Thomas, who?

  • T3xassteelers

    No, because Steelers have 54 right now and once Sutton goes it’ll then be at the 53

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Yeah we’re going to need a breakdown on him.

  • kakello34

    So when Bell signs tomorrow who gets released?

  • Doogie

    no one Sutton goes to IR to return..

  • T3xassteelers

    Just looked him up… 5’11” from Georgia Tech. NFL’s site lists him as a DB lol, played QB in college.

  • Jonas

    Ah okay, thanks

  • Doogie

    Why curse him like that?? Not much better than the Browns..

  • capehouse

    I wonder why Justin Thomas made it over Cobi Hamilton. Only other surprise is Phillips, but we did trade for him.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    just read that if he’s not claimed that sanquez may go on injured reserve but to it’s highly unlikely I’m good with this squad either way

  • kakello34

    That’s a smooth move by the FO

  • Jonas

    They had Fitz returning kicks last year, so neither Conner nor Watson would be a downgrade, I guess.

  • Doogie

    Id rather have Ronald McDonald than big Dan.. Hey Dan its not personal, no yes it is so you need to bee pissed and play like it.. My goodness he is a mountain, he needs to be meaner.. Feed him gunpower??

  • LucasY59

    Justin Thomas instead of Ayers huh??? I missed Thomas being on the list at first since I have barely heard the name this offseason, not sure they needed 2 WRs on the PS

    also surprised Maxey didnt make the squad

  • Doogie

    They’d have to pay him then.. IDK how much though.. Wouldn’t be on the rookie contract cause he has been cut free.. Resign him then to IR. Doubt it but…

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Yeah he is a hybrid QB/CB/WR/KR. Have no idea what to make of him.

  • Doogie

    He has returned kicks I thought I read.. JT I mean, not maxey haha

  • Doogie

    They got tired and wanted to shake it up?

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Ayers turned down a PS spot

  • MintDragon

    Thanks again for the all the work Alex; really felt informed during the cutdown and PS period. 👍

  • capehouse

    The DE depth chart for the last preseason game went Hooks, Philon and then Maxey, and their performance matched that order, so shouldn’t be a surprise.

  • Doogie

    Heard that.. Not sure the fat lady has started singing, but def warming up.

  • Doogie

    They did it with Dupree last year..

  • LucasY59

    as frustrated as I am with the Golson situation I would hope they stash him on the IR if they can, I am probably just being to stubborn, but hate that they have basically wasted a 2nd rd pick

  • Doogie

    Kick Returner maybe.. They don’t have one atm.

  • Steel B

    “Fitzgerald Toussaint, still eligible for the practice squad due to an exemption rule”

    What’s the exemption rule?

  • Jonas

    Cobi’s almost 27 years old. Justin Thomas is raw but his speed and some “varsity” character traits are intriguing imo.

  • StolenUpVotes

    That’s interesting

  • Doogie

    Maybe Conner, he has more burst.. Watson is more Bettis.. Be funny to see him drag 5 people 10 yrds

  • capehouse

    Good point

  • Doogie

    Kick returner?

  • T3xassteelers

    I mean Tucker is on the PS too, so idk

  • Doogie

    If they could with lower contract maybe.. He was cut, rookie contract over, cancelled so I’m not sure how much it would cost, but wouldn’t count against cap..

  • Rob H

    Watson

  • LucasY59

    yeah Im going more off him being on the PS last yr and then getting moved up to the roster and doing fairly well for a developmental UDFA rookie, its not that big of a surprise since things change from yr to yr

  • LucasY59

    its what got him on the roster last yr, but I guess he knows the Steelers depth chart is somthing he isnt likely to move up on, so try and find a spot somewhere else

  • LucasY59

    probably a a rookie min deal, not going to affect the cap much

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    I disagree, I think it’s a healthy, competitive and confident attitude. Why not put it on the line? Steelers are stacked at WR, a team with a lesser amount of talent may want him. It took James Harrison a couple years to land…turned out pretty well for him.

  • MintDragon

    I was curious about this myself, so did a little digging. Per SBNation (by Matt Verderame Aug 29, 2014)

    A player can be eligible if he does not have an accrued season in the NFL, although the NFL has now approved a maximum of two spots on the PS for players with no more than two accrued seasons. To have an accrued season, you have to be active for at least six regular-season games. A player can also go to the practice squad with an accrued season provided they were on the 45-man active roster for less than nine-regular season games.

    My guess is that Toussaint is one of those ‘max 2 spots with no more that two accrued seasons’. Alex, thoughts?

  • capehouse

    Contradicting statement. Why not put it on the line? My thoughts exactly. If he’s that confident in himself, then why not battle it out here in Pittsburgh? Why look for an easier situation? It’s the attitude of a sore loser.

  • capehouse

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure James Harrison didn’t turn down any PS offers, because he didn’t make the 53-man roster, 1 of the 4 times he was cut.

  • John Noh

    Francis Kallon. Thought for sure he would have made the PS.

  • Steelers12

    He gotta go somewhere where he can get playing time

  • This is one of the worst-looking practice squads I’ve seen in a while.

  • John Noh

    Let’s just be happy that Brandon Dukes isn’t back!

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    I don’t think so. If he’s number six on the chart, why not look elsewhere? If it hits the fan in Pittsburgh I’m sure they’ll bring him back .

  • Conserv_58

    I’m glad to see Matt Galambos and Marcus Tucker signed to the PS.
    I see the Justin Thomas signing as a replacement for Ayers refusing to sign.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Did they have the PS then? If you recall, Josh Miller spoke to him because he was extremely talented but had a pretty high strung attitude…that’s why he kept getting cut…,his attitude not his talent. Ayers hasn’t bad mouthed the team, he just didn’t want to sign a PS contract. It’s a business nothing personal.

  • RickM

    How’s he going to get on the field? He couldn’t much last year and this year we have Martavis and JuJu. I’m sure he knows it’s a gamble trying for a PS spot elesewhere, but in terms of his future it’s worth it to him. He’s just going to be in the background all year likely in Pittsburgh and will put up no stats. And next year we’ll still have AB, MB, Rogers and JuJu. He thinks the gamble is worth it and looking at all the guys ahead of him, he’s likely right.

  • Pghomer

    So S Golson hasn’t signed on anyones practice squad?

  • Conserv_58

    I dislike seeing Golson go because in the hand full of practices he did take part in the coaching staff was impressed with his performance.

  • NinjaMountie

    That’s only because we kept players on the 53 that we would have normally cut to keep lower quality vets and made out of character moves. Example: Watson and Allen. Put them on the PS and it looks better. Still, they’re are a couple on there that are interesting.

  • Conserv_58

    IMO, Justin Thomas was signed in place of Ayers for refusing to sign.

  • kakello34

    They just traded for a safety from the Bucs, JJ Wilcox

  • Matt Manzo

    He just got cut by someone, too! Think it was the Cowboys.

  • Pghomer

    I this where Big Dan gets cut? to make room for Wilcox?

  • WeWantDaTruth

    Did Golson land anywhere?

  • kakello34

    I’d say him or maybe even Golden. Can’t see them keeping 5 safeties.

  • Pghomer

    Yeah…that probably makes the most sense. Also signed for 2 years….that is likely.

  • SteelerSurfer

    Bills released RB Johnathan Williams, hope they take a look at him.

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m glad Hugenin and Tucker are back!

  • will

    What!?!?…….no Holba???

  • Maybe McGee, Phillips and Hagen. That’s about it. We already know what Toussaint can do, and apparently, so does the coaching staff. Perhaps Huguenin and Galambos could both turn into something as could the previous three I mentioned, but all-in-all, still a pretty boring bunch. That being said, I’m very happy with our 53.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Flipping burgers with Dri.

  • RASTA

    I will gladly take an ugly-looking practice squad for an amazing looking 53 any friggin year!

    Steelers going to the Super Bowl!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Honestly I cannot recall one play in the preseason he was in. Hooks, Philon and Maxey all had more say to the PS squad then he did IMO.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    It upsets me Ayers did not make the 53. The Steelers would rather have a over the hill gunner in DHB that may have one year left for a guy with potential who has a potential of 5-6 years…bad move IMO. We will see him on a roster this year contributing.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He had to be unclaimed before he could even be in a position to be offered a spot on the practice squad, so no, he didn’t. He did what he said he would do.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Cooper didn’t really show anything. The Steelers wanted him to, too.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Not really the same thing. They released Steven Johnson and then re-signed him. In this case, it’s just Bell having not yet signed a contract.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Where did you read that? He was not waived with an injury designation so he should simply be an unrestricted free agent.

  • Matthew Marczi

    If they wanted him on injured reserve, they would have just moved him there directly rather than exposing him to waivers. But he wasn’t waived with an injury designation so he wouldn’t even be eligible to go on injured reserve.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Not yet.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I don’t think that information is accurate. He wasn’t waived with an injury designation so he would not revert to the Steelers’ injured reserve list and instead just be a street free agent.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Teams can now actually have up to four players who have two or fewer accrued seasons (which is at least 6 games on a 53-man roster). Toussaint has two accrued seasons and thus was eligible to be one of four such players, though currently he is the only one who is there with an exemption.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Honestly Toussaint is better than most running backs on practice squads. If they were better, they would be on rosters. The vast majority of players on practice squads never work their way up to rosters. Remember Cameron Stingily? There are plenty like him. Dreamius Smith, Brandon Brown-Dukes, David Cobb, Rajion Neal, Dominique Brown, Joshua Harris, LaDarius Perkins, Alvester Alexander, Ray Graham, Baron Batch, John Clay, Tristan Davis, Justin Vincent…these are the names of the other running backs that have been on the practice squad since 2010.

    Actually, Toussaint is an ideal practice squad candidate. He knows the offense and is a team player. He will help the defense prepare for upcoming opponents, which is what the practice squad is really for.

  • LucasY59

    I didnt think there was much chance for him to go to IR, but like I said it is more frustration of a busted pick to want them to keep around and give it one more shot, but understand why the team cut the loss and are moving on as well

  • Matthew Marczi

    They usually do keep 5 safeties lately, actually, but it’s unlikely they would cut a safety while at least two, perhaps three, are injured.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Who would be playing gunner this year? They already got rid of one gunner with the Sammie Coates trade. Teams who forget about special teams are the ones who lose games because of it.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah, it’s all around just an incredibly disappointing situation.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I googled sanquez golson news and it’s under a post from a writer for Saturday down south I believe it just may be fake news though I’m not sure

  • Shannon Stephenson

    who will be punt returning? We all can ask questions but in the end Ayers has the up side and DHB is a has been.

  • RickM

    It’s the typical selfish fan syndrome. The guy is either #7 or #8 in the receiving room, depending on whether you rank Tucker (good pre-season) before or after him. If he’s 8th, he’ll need 3 WR injuries just to have a chance to suit up on game day. He’s not prepared to settle for that and languish for another year on the PS.

    Next year may not be much better with AB, MB, Eli and JuJu ahead of him and we’ll probably draft a receiver with it being the final year in Pittsburgh for several guys. More power to him if he feels buried behind a good receiving corps and doesn’t want to lose the first 2-3 years of his NFL career with little to no stats. If it doesn’t work out, he gambled and lost. It’s not like he’s gambling much with what PS players are paid. And he doesn’t even have any guarantees of play next year if he can’t prove himself in 2017. The Archer comparisons are silly. He wasn’t buried 7 to 8 deep at his position. He was given an opportunity but had no NFL ability, nor any desire to play. Ayers has some ability and he wants to play. He just sees little to no opportunity given the depth of our receiving group. If we hadn’t added MB, JuJu and Hunter, Ayers likely would have made the 53. But we did add them and he sees little opportunity. It’s easy for fans to say ‘well be patient and wait another year, even though there are no guarantees for you in 2018 either’.

  • capehouse

    Lol ok so now you’re gonna tell me he has a better situation on New England’s PS? Hardly. He’s with a new team he doesn’t know, that doesn’t know him with just as many guys in front of him. Sure Edelman is gone for the year, but he’s not cracking the lineup with Crooks, Hogan, Amendola, Mitchell, newly traded Dorsett and specialteams ace Slater. Packed house. Same as every team in the league basically. Pats also have a ton of punt returners. In Pittsburgh he was the best one, minus AB. Might not have gotten him a roster spot right away, but it was a door of opportunity that he closed. I don’t really care if it’s selfish of me to think he’s stupid. Just my perspective on the outside.

  • John Noh

    That’s just it though, I’ve seen what those guys can do. I think this guy might have a bit more upside, might be just wishful thinking on my end.

  • Rocksolid20

    NFL was a much better game , when it
    wasn’t all about the money .

  • Rocksolid20

    If he would have stuck it out here , one more season , he could be a starter
    here next year when Bryant is gone .

  • Rocksolid20

    Only Sanders.

  • Steelers12

    Not so sure Bryant will be gone

  • I was never a Toussaint fan. I know most players on the practice squad don’t become much of anything, but to me, this is still one of the worst I’ve seen. lol

  • BTW, I’m very happy with our 53.

  • I left two replies. I guess they were deleted? Okay, I’ll try again. Let me start by saying that regardless of the practice squad, I’m quite happy with this season’s roster. Now, I’ve never been a big Toussaint fan. I know most of the other players on a practice squad may not turn out to be much at all, but from what I remember, in my opinion, this practice squad is more lame than our practice squads from the recent past.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I’m not sure what happened with your previous replies (they are showing up for me, maybe for some reason they were sent into the moderation cue but I can’t see why that would have happened). Regarding the practice squad, I’m personally relatively happy with it. I would have liked Ayers on there, but of course he turned it down. Kyle Friend is meh, don’t know anything about Justin Thomas really, but the rest I like. Especially Tucker, McGee, Phillips, and (for a practice squad role) Toussaint. Huguenin is a guy I’m a fan of too, and I had Hooks on the roster over McCullers, so I can’t complain about that. Galambos and Hagen made some plays and I could potentially see them being injury call-ups to play on special teams at some point. Obviously there’s not much in the way here of potential future development as starters or primary backups, probably.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Except DHB is still doing his thing. And Obviously Brown or Rogers will be returning punts. What makes you think Ayers would be better than either of them returning punts anyway?

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah, the official transaction report didn’t list him as being waived injured, so whoever wrote that was misinformed. Jordan Dangerfield earlier today was the first and only player waived with an injury.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    To be honest we do not want Brown out there if at all possible and Rogers has not shown that he can be effective even though he did do it in college. Ayers was a really good PR in college and has the pedigree and did show us a glimpse of what he can do. Do not forget Ayers can catch a pass too unlike DHB which is a toss up. Be happy with your boy DHB who will be out of football next year and Ayers will be crushing us in a Patriots uniform for years to come.

  • Matthew Marczi

    The last time DHB was actually given meaningful playing time on offense (during Bryant’s 2015 suspension), he actually produced as the number three wide receiver target with 15 receptions for 185 yards and two touchdowns over four games. This whole position that he’s not even capable of playing wide receiver is honestly just lame.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    The last time he received meaningful playing time he did do alright and played surprisingly well but there is a reason why he hasn’t in his whole career not been a guy who can stay on a roster or hold down a starting position for his talent level. He more than proved that this off season. I understand the reasoning I just feel in the long run it is the wrong move.

  • Rotten Sircus

    YES !!!