2023 Steelers Season Recall: Pittsburgh trims roster to 53 players

Steel City Underground presents our 2023 Steelers Recall: a look back at Pittsburgh Steelers games and storylines from last season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers began their journey through the 2023 NFL regular season by trimming their roster down to 53 players at the conclusion of their preseason slate. Following offseason workouts, training camp, and exhibition games, all of the predictions would finally come to an end as we discovered who the identity of this season’s team would be.

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Of course, the identity of team would change throughout the 2023 calendar, starting with the end of August releases and several other moves that would occur up until Week 1 kicked off. The first of the big moves was a trade in which the Steelers sent G Kevin Dotson and a pair of draft picks to the Los Angeles Rams for a pair of picks in a swap of players and draft position.

The first wave of releases commenced, with few surprises. Among the roster hopefuls who did not make the team were LB Tanner Muse and S Kenny Robinson. One day later, more moves would also transpire including another trade.

The next trade would involve training camp favorite and an underdog to make the roster, as G Kendrick Green was packaged to the Houston Texans for a sixth-round pick in 2025. Green had made a rumbling during camp splitting time as a fullback, but with a suitor in place, GM Omar Khan felt it was best to get something in return for a player who was likely to be cut or see little playing time in niche situations.

Among the players released on this same day were DL Breiden Fehoko, LB Nick Kwiatkoski, S Trenton Thompson, S Tre Norwood, and veteran TE Zach Gentry. While this was the end for some, other players would return to the practice squad days later, or during the season but for now the 53-man roster had been set.

Among the oddities of this initial roster was two punters, as the Steelers retained both Pressley Harvin III and Braden Mann. Khan was unable to find a trade partner for one of the two specialists, and opted to let Mann go one day after the August 29th announcement that he made the team alongside Harvin.

Also on August 30th, the organization announced the signings to their practice squad. Among those added to scout team were CB Luq Barcoo, CB Anthony Brown, DL Breiden Fehoko, DL Jonathan Marshall, LB David Perales, RB Greg Bell, S Trenton Thompson, TE Rodney Williams and WR Dez Fitzpatrick.

Pittsburgh would also add veteran depth, signing CB Desmond King II on August 31st. King, who was released from the Texans during their roster cutdown, was added as a potential special teams return specialist in addition to playing cornerback, but would be released in October after failing to get traction at either spot.

The remainder of the roster would play out much like the announced 53 in preparation for the Steelers first home opener in years as they were set to host the San Francisco 49ers on September 10th. That’s where we’ll continue our 2023 recall series next week as we begin revisiting each game from last season.

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