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Steelers promote Tuszka to 53-man roster

Linebacker Derrek Tuszka was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Tuesday, two days after playing in his first game for the Steelers.

With injuries at outside linebacker to T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, Tuszka was elevated to the Active/Inactive roster from the practice squad for the Bengals game, and then went back to the practice squad on Monday without having to clear waivers.

He played 27 snaps on Sunday, and had six total tackles, something he felt prepared for because of the way he has approached things on a daily basis.

"I was to going be prepared to play, no matter what week it is," said Tuszka on Monday. "The first two weeks I was ready to play as well, so getting the opportunity was great. I feel like I had a decent game. Always room for improvement, but a good game to build off and keep going forward."

Despite signing with the team at the beginning of September, he said he has immersed himself in the playbook enough to feel comfortable with it, keeping him from having any issues when called upon.

"I know the whole playbook," said Tuszka. "I feel really confident. Obviously, I'm still learning the whole scheme overall, learning other positions which makes my position easier. But the day I got here, I got in my playbook and I've been studying since. I'm always preparing every week as if I'm playing. Doesn't matter if I'm on practice squad or activated, as you can see, this last weekend I was fortunate enough to be activated. I had prepped all week with the intention that they needed me, and I'd be ready."

Tuszka was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the 245th player overall, out of North Dakota State. He spent time on their practice squad and active roster last season, playing in six games, before being released prior to the start of the 2021 season.

To make room for him on the roster the team waived linebacker Jamir Jones.