The Steelers made multiple roster moves today, including activating tight end Pat Freiermuth from the Reserve/Injured List and signing linebacker Mykal Walker from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
In addition, the team placed safety Keanu Neal on the Reserve/Injured List. Neal signed with the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason and has started eight of the nine games he has played in.
The team also elevated safety Trenton Thompson and linebacker Tariq Carpenter from the practice squad to the Active/Inactive Roster for the game. Both of them were also elevated for the Packers game and will revert back to the practice squad following the game.
Freiermuth was placed on the Reserve/Injured List on Oct. 21 with a hamstring injury.
Freiermuth said he is feeling good and excited to be back.
"It felt amazing," said Freiermuth of being back. "Just being out there with the guys, especially the camaraderie we have on the team. It felt good.
"I feel really good. I just have to see how the week goes."
Freiermuth has missed the last four games while on the Reserve/Injured List, as well as the Ravens game in Week 8, while dealing with a hamstring injury.
"It's been hard, missing this time," said Freiermuth. "I missed three games at Penn State at the end of the year for my shoulder. This is the longest I have missed, six weeks, five games. It definitely was hard.
"I am a big team guy. I love being around the team. It was hard seeing them go out there and compete without me. I am a big competitor. It was definitely hard. But I am excited to be back, especially for a divisional game.
"You always think if I am out there, this can happen. But I think the offense did a good job. The tight ends held it down. Hopefully we can take that next step, especially going into late November/December football."
Getting Freiermuth back is a boost for the offense overall.
"It's big. It puts even more pressure on the defense," said receiver Diontae Johnson. "You can't double everybody, cover everybody. Pat works the middle. Me and GP (George Pickens) work the outside. If they stop us on the outside by clouding us, Pat is going to tear up the middle. Little stuff like that, more pressure on them."
Walker was originally signed to the practice squad on Oct. 30.
Joining the Steelers was a dream for him.
"Coach T, I have always wanted to play for him," said Wa lker of playing for Coach Mike Tomlin. "When you come here, there is a level of expectation, a standard. You don't have to be here long to figure that out. He is that, and more. I have been watching this game since I was born. Just watching him, what he is able to do, you have to respect it. I mean 16 years in a row, a winning record, that is unheard of."
Walker was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons (2020-22) with the Falcons, playing in 49 games, with 20 starts.
Walker recorded 187 tackles over his three years in Atlanta, 89 of them solo stops. He added 11 passes defensed, three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, two forced fumbles, one sack and one fumble recovery.
"My experience and versatility," said Walker of what he can add. "I have done it before. I have had the green dot before. I have played in big games.
"Just my experience I have out there, being able to call upon the coaching staff, I ask questions all day long. I bring experience and versatility."
Walker spent time with the Chicago Bears this offseason and in training camp and was most recently on the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad.
He played college football at Fresno State where he appeared in 26 games. He recorded 183 tackles, 94 solo stops, 23 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, eight quarterback hits, one interception and two blocked kicks. He was a first-team All-Mountain West selection in 2018 and 2019.
Thompson was signed by the Steelers during training camp and added to the practice squad at the start of the regular season.
Thompson, who played at San Diego State, signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent following the 2023 NFL Draft.
He played in 57 games at San Diego State, starting 31, and finished with 191 tackles, 125 of them solo stops, 12 tackles for a loss, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and a sack.
Carpenter was signed to the Steelers practice squad ahead of the team's Week 1 game.
Carpenter spent last season with the Green Bay Packers after they selected him in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He saw action in 14 games, finishing with eight special teams tackles, which was sixth on the team. Carpenter had at least one special teams tackle in six of the final eight games of the season.
He played at Georgia Tech where he appeared in 52 games, 41 starts, and finished with 223 tackles, 152 of them solo stops. He also had 22 passes defensed, four interceptions, six and a half tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles.