Former Pitt running back Darrin Hall was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad on Wednesday, according to an announcement from the team. Hall, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, joins the team at a pivotal time, as the Steelers have suffered a rash of injuries at the running back position. Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell and former Pitt star James Conner were all hurt in recent weeks.
We have released TE Kevin Rader and have signed RB Darrin Hall to our practice squad.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 30, 2019
Of those players, Samuels is the only one currently expected to return from injury in time for the team’s matchup with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, and the only man behind Samuels on the depth chart is Trey Edmunds. That leaves the spots of Snell and Conner on the depth chart unoccupied, with Snell expected to miss two to three weeks.
Hall was one half of Pitt’s “RBU” duo in 2018, with the other half being current Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison. Last year, Hall ran for 1,144 yards and 10 touchdowns on 153 rushing attempts. Since then, he has drawn interest from a number of NFL teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers, but he failed to seize a roster spot on any of those teams.
While practice squad opportunities do not always create clear paths to NFL action for the players who receive them, the Steelers have already utilized the services of a practice squad player in a key skill position during a game this season under similar circumstances.
That player, Devlin Hodges, started at quarterback for the Steelers against the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 13, leading the team to a 24-17 win on the road. Hodges filled in after Mason Rudolph and Ben Roethlisberger both suffered injuries and were unable to play.