Less than a week after added former Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley to their practice squad, the Pittsburgh Steelers departed with a different local college star — Pitt running back Qadree Ollison.
The Steelers announced on December 11 that they have released Ollison and signed linebacker David Perales to the practice squad.
Perales, who Steelers Now’s Nick Farabaugh called “a hyper-productive college player” was an undrafted free agent from Fresno State this year.
He signed with the Steelers initially after the 2023 NFL draft and spent training camp with the team.
This will be Perales’ second stint on the Pittsburgh practice squad. Perales didn’t make the roster out of the preseason but signed with the Steelers practice squad on August 30. The team released him on October 31.
Ollison had been active as a practice squad elevation in two games for the Steelers this season. But he played just 6 snaps.
Steelers Sign LB David Perales to Practice Squad
The Steelers needed depth at edge rusher this week, so they have made room for Perales on their practice squad. Both linebackers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith are in the concussion protocol from head injuries they sustained in Week 14 against the New England Patriots.
Perales recorded 22.5 sacks in his career at Fresno State, which is sixth-most in school history. He also finished his college career with 38 tackles for loss, 6 pass defenses, 9 forced fumbles and an interception.
That success came after he played a year at Sacramento State.
As a senior in 2022, Perales posted career highs of 11.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss and 5 pass defenses.
Perales has never played in an NFL regular season game, but he received 100 defensive snaps for the Steelers during the preseason. Although he was a liability in run defense according to the Pro Football Focus player grades, he scored well as a tackler overall.
In addition to Perales, the Steelers have edge rusher Kyron Johnson on their practice squad. If both Watt and Highsmith don’t clear the concussion protocol before the December 16 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, Perales and Johnson may each be active in Week 15.
The only healthy edge rushers on Pittsburgh’s active roster are Nick Herbig and Markus Golden.
Pittsburgh Releases RB Qadree Ollison to Make Room for Perales
In order to secure extra depth at outside linebacker, the Steelers released Ollison, who had been on Pittsburgh’s practice squad since September 2.
The Atlanta Falcons drafted Ollison in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL draft. That was after he rushed for a pair of 1,000-yard and 11-touchdown seasons at Pitt.
Ollison played three seasons for the Falcons. He ran for 105 yards and a touchdown on just 21 carries in 2021.
Last season, Ollison played three games for the Dallas Cowboys. He spent most of this past offseason with the Jacksonville Jaguars before signing with the Steelers practice squad.
In 24 NFL games, Ollison has rushed for 158 yards and 5 touchdowns. He’s posted 3.6 yards per carry. He’s also recorded 5 receptions for 19 yards.
Ollison ended his Pitt career with 2,859 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns while averaging 5.4 yards per carry. He gained 3,234 yards from scrimmage and also had 3 receiving scores.