After leading the AAF in sacks, Jayrone Elliott joins Steelers eager to contribute
The player who will go down as the all-time career sacks leader in Alliance of American Football history is back with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott was signed Monday to the active roster, ostensibly to replace Tuzar Skipper after Skipper’s release Saturday and claim by the New York Giants off waivers.
“I’m just trying to take advantage of the opportunity and prove Coach (Mike) Tomlin right,” the 27-year-old, four-year NFL veteran Elliott said. “He took a chance on me, so I have to pay it back to him.”
A veteran of 39 NFL games in which he mostly was a special teams contributor, Elliott has four career NFL sacks. But he had 7½ in eight AAF games for the San Antonio Commanders.
“It was pure luck,” Elliott said. “It was good competition there, but unfortunately the league folded on us.”
Elliott hasn’t played in the NFL regular season since 2017 (and it was only one game that season, for the Dallas Cowboys). The Steelers signed him Aug. 22, and he played in each of their final two preseason games.
A strip-sack, fumble return for a touchdown in Carolina on Aug. 29 surely opened some eyes.
— SteelVideos (@SteelBlitzburgh) August 29, 2019
“I know it was a fourth preseason game,” Elliott said. “I came in later, and most teams have a sense of who they were going to keep — at least 45 guys — so I was just hoping I could at least ‘splash,’ and if one of (the Steelers outside linebackers) goes down I could be called in and just help any way I can.”
It wasn’t an outside linebacker who went down to give Elliott a shot, it was one who was waived and claimed. Skipper was removed from the roster Saturday so the Steelers could add Johnny Holton to the active roster.
Coincidentally, Elliott and Skipper played at Toledo. Another Steelers outside linebacker, Ola Adniyi, also is a Toledo alumnus.
Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt start at the position, and Anthony Chickillo is the top backup.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .