This year's NFL training camps are well underway with the first preseason game set for Thursday, Aug. 4. The Pittsburgh Steelers have about a week before their first exhibition contest, allowing them to weed out any weak links on the roster.
When it comes to a passionate franchise like the Steelers, the pressure is on for veterans to fight to secure their roster spots. Unfortunately for some, head coach Mike Tomlin won't give them too much leeway when it comes to making mistakes, leaving a few veteran names on the roster bubble.
Here are three Steelers veterans who are on the roster bubble in training camp.
Steelers Training Camp
1. Justin Layne, CB
Last month, Steelers insider Brooke Pryor revealed that cornerback Justin Layne is one player on the roster bubble. The former third-round pick just hasn't been able to secure a defined role, playing only 28 defensive snaps across 17 games last season. When he has played, Layne hasn't looked that great, surrendering 13 completions, 144 yards and a touchdown on 16 career targets. Considering that it doesn't seem as if he's impressed too much at training camp this year, meaning time could be running out for the 24-year-old in Pittsburgh.
2. Jace Sternberger, TE
Another former third-round pick, Jace Sternberger has been hanging around Pittsburgh's practice squad since last November. While the veteran tight end had some hype around him out of college, he's failed to make an impact on the four organizations he's been a part of since 2019. Pat Freiermuth is already the undisputed starting TE for the Steelers, while Zach Gentry should end up as the backup due to his blocking abilities. Unless Sternberger shows promise during the preseason games, it could be another practice squad year for the former Texas A&M Aggie.
3. Benny Snell Jr., RB
Najee Harris' arrival last year left Benny Snell Jr. as an afterthought in the Steelers backfield. The 24-year-old running back played only 9% of Pittsburgh's offensive snaps in 2021, averaging a career-worst 2.7 yards on 36 carries. Though he's been having a solid training camp, it's clear that Snell still needs to prove his worth during the preseason contests. Whether through other teams' camp cuts or internally, the Steelers can find better backup RB options if Snell can't improve over last year's abysmal performance. With Pittsburgh being able to save nearly $1 million by cutting him, the pressure is on for him to get out of the roster bubble.
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