“Tough break for Miller, who was on pace to make the 53-man roster,” notes Lolley.
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Karl Joseph is a Former 1st-Round Pick
As for Joseph, he was injured during the first quarter of Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks and was subsequently seen with a walking boot on his right foot.
The former Raiders first-round pick (No. 14 overall in 2016) originally came to the Steelers in the spring of 2021 and spent much of last season on Pittsburgh’s practice squad. He did appear in two games, however (against the Broncos and the Chargers), and was credited with two tackles and one pass defensed in 31 total snaps, as per Pro Football Reference (PFR).
Joseph was competing for a job as a backup defensive back/special teamer.
Anthony Miller is a Former 2nd-Round Pick
As for Miller, he hurt his shoulder during practice late last week. He was engaged in a very competitive battle for one of the final roster sports at wide receiver, a competition that still includes All-Pro kick returner Gunner Olszewski and former Baltimore Ravens wideout Miles Boykin, as well as Cody White, Steven Sims, Tyler Snead, Tyler Vaughns and ex-Atlanta Falcons receiver Christian Blake, the latter of whom was signed on August 11.
The Steelers inked Miller — a former second-round pick of the Chicago Bears (No. 51 overall in 2018) — to a one-year Reserve/Futures contract in January. He originally joined the Steelers in October 2021 following a workout and appeared in one game for Pittsburgh, catching one pass for two yards in 25 total snaps, according to PFR.
He was said to be doing a good job taking advantage of his opportunities early in training camp, especially before Diontae Johnson signed his contract extension and while Chase Claypool missed practice time due to injury.
“You know, this is his first opportunity to be on the train when it leaves the station. Oftentimes we pick up guys and they get on a moving train during the course of a season and so forth,” Tomlin told reporters earlier this month. “It’s good that he’s had the totality of the offseason, the learning process. I think being a component of the entire process is showing in a positive light for him.”
Despite the fact that Miller is considered a bust by Chicago fans, he appeared in 47 games and made 17 starts for the Bears over three seasons, recording 134 receptions for 1,564 yards and 11 touchdown catches. In July 2021, he was traded to the Texans for a 2022 fifth-round pick but spent less than three months with Houston before he was waived, opening the door for him to come to Pittsburgh.
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In addition to acquitting himself well during training camp practices, Miller attracted attention on social media in early August by demonstrating the ability to catch seven footballs without dropping one.
Meanwhile, the seven depth wide receivers listed above continue to compete for what are likely to be two places on the team, as Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin III appear to have the first four receiver spots locked up.
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