Isaiah Buggs Steelers

Getty Images Defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On Saturday January 8, the Pittsburgh Steelers career of defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs came to a “weird end.” In less than three short months, the former sixth-round pick out of Alabama went from starting games in place of an injured Tyson Alualu to being consistently inactive or unavailable, thanks to an ankle injury and a stint on the Reserve/COVID-19 list that began on December 23, 2021.

But Buggs landed on his feet. As per NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, on Tuesday January 11 he signed to the practice squad of the Las Vegas Raiders. Shortly afterwards, the 25-year-old Louisiana native took to Instagram to say goodbye to the Steelers and Steelers Nation, taking the opportunity to thank the organization for the chance to “live out a lifelong dream and play in the NFL.”

“As this chapter comes to a close, I am looking forward to my next chapter in Las Vegas with the Raiders!” he added. That chapter could begin as soon as this this Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati, where the Raiders will play the AFC North champion Bengals in an AFC Wildcard game. Having cleared waivers before signing with the Raiders, Buggs is eligible to play in the postseason.

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Chiefs Sign Former Steelers Kick Returner Mathew Sexton

Meanwhile, on January 11 the Kansas City Chiefs signed former Steelers wide receiver/kick returner Mathew Sexton—aka ‘Cheddar Bob’—to a Reserve/Futures contract.

Sexton—who played his college ball at Eastern Michigan—got his first chance in the NFL when he signed with the Steelers in late March of 2021, having impressed scouts by running a “low-4.3 40” at Michigan State’s Pro Day.

For a time, it looked like Sexton had a chance to win a roster spot as a kick returner, even drawing public praise from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during training camp. In fact, he returned three punts for 88 yards (29.3 yards per return) during Pittsburgh’s first three preseason games.

Then he muffed two punts during the fourth preseason game against Carolina and was waived by the Steelers on August 28, 2021.


Former Steelers Draft Pick Signs With the Saints

Sexton isn’t the only ex-Steelers player to sign a Reserve/Future contract this week. As per Luke Johnson of the New Orleans Advocate, on January 10 offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins inked a Reserve/Futures deal with the Saints.

Hawkins, 28, was a fourth-round pick of the Steelers in 2016 out of LSU. He appeared in a total of 18 games for the black & gold in two separate stints with the team, the most recent coming in 2020, when the Steelers plucked him off the practice squad of the Houston Texans just days after Zach Banner suffered a torn ACL in the team’s season-opener against the New York Giants.

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Pittsburgh’s Practice Squad Protections

On Tuesday January 11, the Steelers named the four practice squad players they have chosen to protect this week, those being:

DL Daniel Archibong
OL Rashaad Coward
WR Anthony Miller
DE John Simon

None of the four can be signed until after Pittsburgh’s Wild Card playoff game against the Chiefs on Sunday January 16.

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ALSO READ:
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Former Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley Named Head Coach of Tampa Bay’s USFL Team


Source: Heavy

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