Steelers drop former Alabama defensive lineman

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Saturday’s NFL transaction report had some good news and some bad news for former Alabama linemen.

Standard elevations for practice teams around the league for the last Sunday of the 2021 regular season included New York Jets center Ross Pierschbacher and Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand. These designations will make Pierschbacher eligible to play for the Jets for the first time and Hand eligible to play for the first time for the Titans.

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While Hand has played three games with the Detroit Lions this season between stints in the injured reserve, Pierschbacher has not played this season. Pierschbacher played five games for the Washington Redskins in 2019 and three games for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020.

Pierschbacher has been on the Jets training squad since September 10. Hand joined the Titans’ practice squad on Wednesday. Hand spent two weeks with the Indianapolis Colts training team between his release from the Lions and signing with Tennessee.

The bad news was about defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs, who was sidelined by Pittsburgh with one game left in his third regular season with the Steelers.

Buggs started six times as he played 227 defensive snaps in Pittsburgh’s opening 10 games of the 2021 season. But he hadn’t played since November 21. Buggs missed three games with an ankle injury, missed another in reserve / COVID-19 and was apparently a healthy scratch in two more.

Seven other Alabama high school and college players appeared on the NFL transaction report on Saturday:

· The Las Vegas Raiders bred guard Lester Cotton (Central-Tuscaloosa, Alabama) from the practice squad, making him eligible to play in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Cotton has appeared in two games this season as an elevation of the practice squad.

The Seattle Seahawks bred the training team’s cornerback Michael Jackson (Spain Park) as a COVID-19 replacement, making him eligible to play Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. Jackson made his season debut last week with 25 defensive snaps and five special teams as a training team elevation in a 51-29 victory over the Detroit Lions.

· The Washington football team has signed safety Jeremy Reaves (South Alabama) to their active training team roster. In his fourth year with Washington, Reaves had been on the practice squad all season. He has played four times in 2021 as a training squad elevation, most notably starting two games.

· The Detroit Lions have signed cornerback Saivion Smith (Alabama) for their practice team. The Lions had relinquished Smith from their active roster on Thursday. In December, Smith played one game with the San Francisco 49ers and two with Detroit.

· The Las Vegas Raiders raised defensive lineman Damion Square (Alabama) from the practice squad, making him eligible to play in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Square, who was on the Raiders’ active roster earlier this season, played eight games for Las Vegas in 2021, and he started the season by playing in the Chicago Bears opener.

· The Los Angeles Rams have signed long snapper Carson Tinker (Alabama) for their practice squad. Los Angeles previously signed Tinker to their practice squad on December 18 and January 1 and released him on December 28 and January 4. Tinker has played eight games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and one game with the Las Vegas Raiders this season.

The San Francisco 49ers have restored safety Jimmie Ward (Davidson) to the active reserve / COVID-19 roster. Ward will be eligible to play against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. A victory over the Rams on the final day of the regular season will put the 49ers in the playoffs.

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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @ AMarkG1.


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