Steelers Sign Former Bears, Vikings DE Abdullah Anderson

Steelers Sign Former Bears, Vikings DE Abdullah Anderson
Abdullah Anderson

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Abdullah Anderson of the Chicago Bears sacks Chad Kelly of the Indianapolis Colts during a preseason game on August 24, 2019.

On Monday the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they have signed former Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Abdullah Anderson.

Anderson—who is 25 and 6-foot-4, 295 pounds—originally entered the NFL following the 2018 NFL Draft, signing with the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of Bucknell University. He spent 2018 and part of 2019 on Chicago’s practice squad before getting promoted to the active roster. He went on to appear in six games, registering four tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss.

In 2020 he spent much of the season on the practice squad of the Minnesota Vikings and was active for one game, playing ten snaps without getting his name on the stat sheet.

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Abdullah Anderson’s College Career at Bucknell

Anderson played football at Bucknell between 2014-17, starting a total of 43 games. During that time period he was responsible for 171 tackles (96 solo), 33.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, 14 passes defensed, four blocked kicks (three field goals, one PAT), as well as two fumble recoveries and an interception.

As a senior he was All-Patriot League First Team, as well as Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club FCS Collegiate Player of the Year.

Steelers Continue to Add Depth at Defensive End

But while Anderson has seven games worth of NFL experience, he faces an uphill battle to make the team—or even earn a spot on the practice squad—as defensive end remains one of the strongest positions on Pittsburgh’s roster.

Beyond starters Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, the Steelers also have: Tyson Alualu, who recently reversed his decision to leave the Steelers in free agency; Isaiah Buggs (a sixth-round pick in 2019); Henry Mondeaux, who saw his first NFL playing time in 2020 after entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2019; and Calvin Taylor, who was added to Pittsburgh’s practice squad in September and signed a one-year Reserve/Future contract in January.

Moreover, it was just last week that the Steelers signed defensive end T.J. Carter, a versatile lineman who played his college ball at the University of Kentucky.

On the other hand, the Steelers don’t figure to address defensive end in the 2021 draft, not with so many other pressing needs—on the offensive line, at running back, and at inside and outside linebacker, among other positions.

In 2021, the Steelers will attempt to tie the NFL record for most consecutive seasons with 50+ sacks (five), which is held by three teams—the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Washington Football Team. All three of those teams set the mark between 1983-87. In 2020, the Steelers set a new franchise record by garnering 50+ sacks for the fourth consecutive year.

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