WPIAL alumni Trevon Mathis, Kevin Rader named to Steelers practice squad, Sutton Smith is not
WPIAL alumni Trevon Mathis and Kevin Rader were among the 10 players the Pittsburgh Steelers named to their season-opening practice squad Sunday.
A cornerback from Woodland Hills High School and the University of Toledo, Mathis was back home in Homewood when he signed with the Steelers 2 ½ weeks ago. Rader, a tight end and Pine-Richland graduate, is another first-year player. He has spent the past several months on the Steelers’ offseason roster and was in the competition to be the No. 3 tight end on the 53-man roster.
"I've been a Steelers fan for a long time, so it's an honor to be home and put on the black and gold. I don't take it for granted. I'm going to give it everything I've got."
“Dream” for Woodland Hills HS’ Trevon Mathis to join Steelers
(Via @TribLive) https://t.co/m1RS60CDJM
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 10, 2019
One open spot remains on the practice squad; the Steelers have an exemption for an 11th player, British tight end Christian Scotland-Williamson, because he’s part of the NFL’s International Pathways program.
Steelers practice-squad returnees from last season who are back include running back Trey Edmunds, receiver Tevin Jones, and interior offensive lineman Patrick Morris.
Last year’s fifth-round pick, safety Marcus Allen, was added to the practice squad after being cut Saturday. The Penn State alum remained on the 53-man roster all of last season.
The lone 2019 draft pick on this year’s practice squad was seventh-round guard/tackle Derwin Grey. Sixth-round linebacker Sutton Smith was omitted.
“I never saw it coming,” Kevin Rader said Wednesday at training camp at Saint Vincent. “I love the fact that they wanted me. … I come back and I get to play for the team that I’ve been watching all my life. It’s an awesome experience.”https://t.co/oeqYG22pLl
— Tribune-ReviewSports (@TribSports) August 15, 2019
Inside linebacker Robert Spillane – who played for the Tennessee Titans last season – and defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux were also named to the practice squad. Mondeaux spent time on the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad last season.
Practice squad players are paid on a weekly basis, are not eligible to appear in games and are free to sign with other teams that wish to add them to their 53-man roster.
Other than recent draftee Smith, perhaps the most notable omission from the Steelers’ initial practice squad is receiver Trey Griffey, the son of baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. who spent all of last season on the Steelers’ practice squad.
The practice-squad situation potentially could remain fluid in the coming days as the Steelers evaluate players let go by other organizations, or as possible trades, 53-man roster signings or player injured-reserve designations create roster trickle-down effects.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .