Steelers sign OLB Jayrone Elliott, waive injured defensive lineman Lavon Hooks
Jayrone Elliott was picking his son up from a suburban Dallas day care Wednesday afternoon when his phone rang.
“It was one of the (Pittsburgh Steelers) scouts,” Elliott said Thursday, “and it’s funny because they asked me if I wanted to play football still. And I said, ‘Hell yeah.’”
About 18 hours after a hastily-arranged flight, little sleep, a physical and paperwork, Elliott was on the practice field at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, the newest member of the Steelers.
An outside linebacker, Elliott took the roster spot of practice-squad defensive lineman Lavon Hooks, who suffered an Achilles injury during Wednesday’s practice and was waived/injured.
Elliott is a veteran of 38 regular-season games for the Green Bay Packers between 2014-16. His most recent NFL appearance came in one 2017 game for the Dallas Cowboys, though he spent last year’s training camp with the New Orleans Saints.
“I’m 27, but felt like 40 out there today,” Elliott said with a smile after the Steelers’ afternoon practice. “I felt old out there. I was working out and staying ready for this opportunity, but it’s different being in football shape. So I am looking forward to getting back out there again.”
Elliott has pass-rushing skills evidenced by nine sacks as a college senior and four career NFL sacks (plus an interception) in limited action. The Steelers have no obvious candidate to serve as the No. 4 outside linebacker with Ola Adeniyi (meniscus surgery) not ready for the start of the regular season.
Elliott is the fifth former Toledo player on the Steelers’ 91-man roster, most of any college. He also is the sixth player on the roster who played this spring in the defunct Alliance of American Football.
Hooks was initially signed by the Steelers to a reserve/future contract as a first-year free agent in 2016, and he was a member of their practice squad in ‘17 and ‘18. He was being strongly considered for a 53-man roster spot this season.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .